I have met and heard the tragic stories of many parents. PA is a function, by and large, of a custodial ex-partner, although some alienation can start while the couple is still together.

This blog is a story of experiences and observations of dysfunctional Family Law (FLAW), an arena pitting parent against parent, with children as the prize. Due to the gender bias in Family Law, that I have observed, this Blog has evolved from a focus solely on PA to one of the broader Family/Children's Rights area and the impact of Feminist mythology on Canadian Jurisprudence and the Divorce Industry.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Chapter 94 ~ The Christmas Season

The blog has been quiet since the 9th but there has been lots going on and much more activity will occur in the New Year. I have been very busy at the store and this was the busiest week of the year so I have not had much time to write. I will post correspondence that has taken place after Christmas.

I'm a pretty tired person tonight and so I decided to just "veg" out and re-watch the movie "Ghost" with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore. It is one of my all time favourite love stories from the cinema. I think I've watched it 3 or four times now since it first came out in 1990. It's hard to believe that was 17 years ago. I am a serious sceptic when it comes to religion but watching movies like Ghost makes me want to believe there is a hereafter and that we can do things as spirits. That is the magic of movies. My Mother, who was very religious, would say I had little faith and she would be right. If it were true then I could watch over my children from a pretty good vantage point and help guide them throughout their lives. Perhaps I could also guide the ex into making the right judgements with respect to the youngest girls. If only it were so!

It is nice to see the passion and love that the main characters had for each other. Would you believe my ex and I had that same passion once? We were good for each other for a long time but our love, passion, friendship and marriage slid away under our very noses. We were too busy with our separate lives to care I guess. It is a shame that two people who once had such zeal for one another's company now face a new year of continuing court battles and acrimony. Where is that movie magic for our lives? Could we create several different endings for our own drama with some more positive than others. If I could have a Christmas wish it would be that we could earn our own Academy Award for best efforts at looking after the happiness and well being for the rest of the lives of our children instead of metaphorically "beating" each other up.

If you are reading this my old friend, lover, companion, life partner and wife lets give ourselves some counselling for each other as a Christmas present and give our wonderful girls the best present they could possibly imagine.

I'll be back after Christmas with more. All the best and for you readers who are not Christian may the spirit and message arising from Christmas - peace on earth and good will toward humankind - bless you and your family and your God.

Mike Murphy

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Chapter 92 ~ The Future our Children Face

I built a computer for Peigi for her first birthday. She, of course, couldn't type but could use a mouse to click on things and get a reaction. She already had a plus 50 word vocabulary by then and I had a sense she was gifted with language skills. She loved this action-reaction stuff and I will never forget her first mouse click at age 1. I think Explorapedia was one of the first interactive educational programs she used on the computer and her first click moved a frog from one location to another and it was wonderful to watch her truly explore this new world of computers. I did the same for Delia on her first birthday. They both have literally grown up with computers as tools. Why did I do this and not have them share one machine. It was because the "personal" computer (PC) for me changed the way I worked and learned fundamentally. It was "mine" and not controlled by a central IT department who dictated what I could and could not load on it and use. It changed my life for the better. I built my first Sinclair ZX machine from a kit in the late 70's or early 80's. It wouldn't be until a short time later that the Apple and IBM PC would catch on as mass market devices and change computing forever. Did you know that a 10 MB winchester hard drive in 1983 cost at least $1,000.00? Now you can get a half terrabyte (500GB) for $110.00 CDN. The first Apple 1 came out in 1976 for nearly $700.00 US but was only for the hard core geek community and its ease of use was clearly not a selling point then. That was similar to the Altair which used one of the very first Intel 8080 micro-processors which kick started the whole PC industry. I also had the technical know-how to build them and for the girls I could use old parts considered obsolete for everyday business use or high intensity graphics and cobble them together so they could use the many children's learning programs available. This has clearly given them a "head start" with the technology. I ran across the video below today through my subscription to the "This is True" newsletter by Randy Cassingham and what it indicates is quite startling in terms of the education of our children and the rapid advance of new knowledge, new careers, and the number of job changes our children will need to go through in their lives. Are we preparing our children well for the future. Have a look. It is just over 8 minutes but is an eye opener and information worthwhile to know. Given my children are going through incredible emotional stress on top of everything else it is concerning. But armed with the knowledge we can play a direct role in their preparation for a future far different than the one we experienced at the same age. For the printed version of this blog, when re-written as a book, this is the Link to the video on You Tube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMcfrLYDm2U To watch it without leaving this blog, click on the play button below.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Chapter 82 ~ An outline of the Family Group Decision Making Program

The following is an outline of the program as described in the brochure. As confidentiality is a basic bottom line and principle I won't go into any specifics about it. I publish it to give an idea of its purpose, its membership and the potential outcome if all participate. It is a little scary in that others, outside of the immediate family, can be involved but they might offer a clearer perspective as well. I have sent in my consent and I wait to see if the ex and Peigi, who is 12, and can accept or decline due to her age will participate.

As mentioned previously, in Chapter 79, it is based on the traditional aboriginal Circle Meeting format and got started in New Zealand. Kudo's to the local CAS for mentoring this program. I have republished my narrative below to save you going back to the above location.

I met with an interesting person on Monday who runs a program initiated by the Algoma Children's Aid Society called Family Group Decision Making. It is patterned on a program arising out of New Zealand and has roots in their aboriginal method of circle meetings. I am familiar with these as North American aboriginal society has used this method for group meetings for as long as their oral history goes back. In my past career as a National Park Superintendent and Parks Canada manager I became familiar with it. Some of my postings were to very isolated parts of the country and my closest neighbours were First Nations. One of the duties in my various jobs in the past was to get involved with these communities and assist with employment and economic opportunities where possible.

At Pukaskwa National Park, in North Western Ontario, along the coast of Lake Superior, we had a mixed population of First Nation and white employees. The human resources management was a constant challenge given the creation of the park gave preference to First Nations in the Robinson Superior Treaty Group. This was not perceived well by everyone and it had to be dealt with. We eventually evolved a circle meeting method for staff get-togethers where everyone was equal and each had a chance to speak without fear of retribution. I found it to be interesting, challenging to manage, but extremely worthwhile.

The premise behind the local program is excellent and the Facilitator manages it on behalf of the CAS. She describes the local CAS as leading edge in this respect. That is good to hear. It sure sounds like it has those qualities and has the appearance of being groundbreaking. I don't know who mentored it but they need a pat on the back and perhaps something more tangible if it works out for the benefit of the family. I will post some of the information on how it works in the next several days. I won't mention any names as it is the type of program that requires trust and what goes on with participants must stay within the group. (no Vegas analogies please!!:>) If one goes into it then confidentiality is compulsory. I will sign up in the next couple of days. It has been just hectic this week so far and that is not all bad. The store has generated better revenue two days in a row and my graphics skills are being put to good use.

What is Family Group Decision Making?

It is a meeting that involves you, your relatives and friends to establish plans to help your child and your family.

Who is The Family?

Your relatives, friends, and anyone who feels like family to you.

Why Use Family Group Decision Making?

A plan to help your child is made by the larger family. It is a good way of discussing the safety of everyone in the family. You know your children and other family member's best. It's an opportunity to look at resources, both within the family and outside, and how these can best be used to everyone's benefit. You hear what the professionals have to say. You hear the concerns of the other family members.

How is the Family Meeting Arranged?

Once you consent to being involved with Family Group Decision Making, the facilitator will work with you and your family. The Facilitator will explain what FGDM is about. She will ask you who is in your family and how they can be contacted. She will also check with you whether there are other individuals who should actively take part. The Facilitator will approach these people and will invite them to the meeting. The Facilitator will prepare each person for the meeting. The Facilitator will also ask you which service providers could attend the meeting. Childcare and a meal is provided on the day of the meeting. Travel arrangements can be made.

How Long Does it Take?

It takes few weeks to set up the meeting and make sure everyone is prepared and included. The meeting will go on for as long as necessary until a plan is agreed upon - so set aside the whole day! A good meal will be provided. What Happens in a Family Meeting?

Part 1- Welcome and Information Giving

The Facilitator greets and welcomes all people present. There is an opening that fits with your Family's tradition. The Facilitator outlines the purpose of the meeting.

People introduce themselves and share a hope for the day. Guidelines for a respectful discussion are brainstormed. If needed, a safety plan is outlined. The service providers share information about the family.

The family asks the service providers questions

Part 2 - Family Private Time

The family group has time to meet alone to consider new ways of helping the child and the child's family.

Part 3 - Review of Plan

The plan is presented to the CPW and their Supervisor.

The details of implementing the new plan are discussed.

A copy of the plan will be sent to every person within 10 days of the meeting.

Your role as a family member:

To share with the family how you see the situation,

To share how you feel the situation could best be dealt with.

To agree on the best plan, together with the family, which ensures that everyone in the family is safe and cared for.

If you have been invited to be a support person, you will help that family member express their opinions and help them feel safe.

The role of the CPW:

To share with the family, in clear language, your definition of the concerns in the family. To note the strengths in the family. To be clear about any bottom lines you may have.

To note any resources which may be useful to the family.

The role of a resource person/speaker:

To use clear language to describe how the problem can affect a family and its members.

To outline what other families with this type of problem have used and the resources that might be available to this family in the community.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Chapter 77 ~ A follow-up letter to the Executive Director of the Algoma Children's Aid Society

Editors note: CPW where found stands for Child Protection Worker. I have removed reference to actual names for the workers at either their request or at the request of supervisors. Their job is hazardous, challenging and they can face physical danger. They work assisting with the most precious resource on the face of the planet ~ our children. I do not want to jeopardize them even though I disagree with their assessments. This isn't about revenge it is about helping my children and as adults we will have to agree to disagree on some of the points I make in my letter.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Jim Baraniuk Executive Director Children’s Aid Society 191 Northern Avenue East, Sault Ste Marie, ON P6B 4H8 via fax 949-4747

Dear Mr. Baraniuk:

Re: Peigi and Delia

I have attached recent correspondence with your CPW which pretty much sums up my concerns with respect to her investigation of my complaints including reports I received from a neighbour of my ex wife, the latter of which has temporary interim custody of the two children. Four children were reported to be harassing this woman after 9:30 pm on a school night but it appears that it is not a protective issue. Does the CAS condone this lack of supervision and behaviour of a 9 year old at this hour of a school night or is it non-protective because the complainant came to me and did not also complain to your office? I was able to corroborate the story was true after a discussion with the Mother of one of the children present in addition to the complainant. This mother apologized to the lady for her daughter’s behaviour. No such thing occurred by my ex. My children admitted to me they were present. Your employee does not appear to have made any effort to determine the truth including asking the children if it occurred. I am somewhat confused over this apparent lack of prudent sleuthing. I’m a little mystified also because in the same letter your employee has accused me of a great number of actions I did not do, despite the fact she had no corroboration they were true? Are we dealing with two sets of rules here - one for non-custodial fathers and one for custodial mothers who are convicted criminals, proven liars, officially proven to be dishonest, have mental health issues and have abused their spouse and children physically, emotionally and in my case financially as well through her criminal behaviour?

To further the slander a letter, dated October 15, 2007, the same date as the one given to me and sent by your agency to the respondent mother is now in circulation to be used against me in various venues including the upcoming divorce trial. As this letter contains untruths written by your employee it will undoubtedly complicate matters for your agency at both the above trial and a civil action I will be commencing against the mother. I will require from you an explanation as to why there are inconstancies in your investigative processes whereby I am accused of certain actions without corroboration yet what I view as a serious breach of proper parental supervision is glossed over.

I think you know that if a lie is repeated often enough people will believe it to be the truth. My ex will make good use of your letter, as it is from a child protection agency and, therefore must be true – but it isn’t. She has been telling lies, denigrating me and more recently as one example of a deceitful untruth told Peigi that daddy thought they were “mental” for wanting to get counselling with a psychologist. These actions are called Parental Alienation (PA) which your agency cannot deal with according to the same letter but are the root cause of the untrue stories my daughters might tell anyone who asks questions and particularly why Peigi hates her father. She has taken it upon herself to be her mother’s protector and in doing that has lied, stolen, acted as spy, inventoried her father’s medicine cabinet for the mother, hit me, verbally abused me repeatedly among other behaviours that ought not to be present in a 12 year old child. Your worker, who does not understand the mechanisms at play with PA, has blamed me for it. The mother does not think these are alienating activities. In fact when I mentioned the “mental” statement your CPW raised her arms in the air and in obvious frustration told me it was not something she wanted to hear or could do anything about. The subject and methods of Parental Alienation appears to hit a raw nerve with her. Her body language reminded me of the person who moved their arms to their ears so as to “hear no evil”.

I will quickly walk you through the discrepancies as outlined in my letter to your CPW.

I do not have nor have I told my children I have people watching them in their neighbourhood or school. It is preposterous to think a school would act as spies for me. I have a court order to obtain educational information and to visit the school because my ex would not readily share information or school pictures. The mother may have said this to the children, which would be normal for her but part of the PA pattern of abuse. Your worker appears to be blaming me for increased stress levels as I care about my children’s conduct. As I mentioned to your CPW, I am divorcing my wife not my children and will never stop being concerned about her mental health issues and how she deals with the children’s behaviour. I am the world’s leading expert on her capabilities and on my children having raised them from infancy.

She indicates Peigi feels sick, scared and upset at visiting me. Peigi is not afraid of me. She is a very assertive child and shows absolutely no fear. Any fear she would discuss with your CPW would be a direct result of manipulation by the mother. She clearly gets upset at having to visit with me and that is directly relating to the brainwashing over many years by the mother. I find it interesting that your CPW has no problem putting these thoughts in writing in an effort to blame me but is unable to connect the dots properly to the mother’s ongoing manipulations. It is a very unprofessional conclusion.

Access with my children is, of necessity, court ordered. The mother has a history of denying access and Justice Whalen, in the spring, asked me if I wished the police clause added to my access order to ensure compliance. That means the police could go in and force the children to visit with me. I declined it, at the time. Who wants that kind of situation? It would be traumatic but I will seek that clause at a future court session and if the mother declines to act responsibly it may well be used. Court ordered access is not worth the paper it is written on if it can’t be enforced and causes the Family Court System to fall into disrepute. I love my children and will ensure the mother understands I will take the necessary steps to keep having access. She only needs to act responsibly to lessen any stress levels that occur. Your CPW's comments are not only unprofessional they are highly biased only seeing one side of an issue

The comments she makes about the children’s behaviour when with me being my responsibility are a gross oversimplification of a complex problem. I cannot apply appropriate discipline to a child in a 3 hour visit. In fact Peigi continuously insults me so she can convince me to take her home earlier as she does not want to visit with me at all. That is one of the reasons I contacted your agency to see if you had resources to assist. I do not need a lecture from a worker on how to parent or what my responsibilities are when my children are with me. The mother has repeatedly set the children up, particularly Peigi, to have a negative visit with me. It is clearly evident in the Supervised access reports from 2006 and all it takes is a simple comment by the mother such as – I think the children are “mental” as described earlier or I called Peigi a “liar”, or I am “spying” on them and the list goes on. On the weekend I can actually behave like a parent and have time to discuss matters with them and withdraw privileges when appropriate. As the mother does not apply discipline they view me as “mean” “abusive” and a “bully.”

I find it interesting respecting the comments about the email exchange with Peigi. My daughter is so pre-disposed and alienated from me by the mother that even when I pay the mother a compliment she takes umbrage with me. I probably should not have mentioned I did not want to get divorced - the mother does and it shows me as imperfect. Keep in mind that PA is so imbued with Peigi that even a compliment to the mother triggers a negative response. The mother has told the child “I hate her” so many times it is Peigi’s truth and any compliment I give is turned around and thought of as a negative. Why is that so hard to see by your worker? It is not rocket science and you don’t need a PhD in psychology to figure it out. In fact I do not hate the mother. I do dislike her but more than anything I hate her behaviour and since learning of her mental health disorders I have concluded she probably not only cannot help herself but doesn’t understand what her actions are doing. That is why I would still enter counselling with her but I will not “roll over” and be her “patsy” again. Those days are long gone.

Now we come to the crunch and that is your entering me into a database. I sought you out voluntarily and I need an explanation for this course of action. I have never once in my life abused my children in any manner. If you enter my name into a database alleging abuse you will face civil action without question. I am bringing a civil suit against the mother for all of the reasons described in these letters and much, much more can be found at my blog at http://parentalalienationcanada.blogspot.com. This blog is the precursor to my book on this tragic progression from the day the marriage breakdown started until the divorce is finalized. It may well be the only one like it in the world that is charting the decline of a marriage and family from the first day it started and I expect once my media plan is put into high gear it will become heavily visited.

I do not want to be your adversary. I want to work with your agency to help my children and keep them from both physical and psychological harm. I want them to understand that belittling another human being and harassing a small child at their next door neighbour’s is inappropriate whether your CPW disagrees or not. I want them to understand that certain other children their own age are inappropriate play mates. I do not think they should be out with a boy who smokes at the age of 12, who can supply them with cigarettes, whose parents are allegedly drug addicts, who blows up frogs on neighbours swings and whose parents don’t give a damn about him harassing and belittling a neighbour and her small daughter after 9:30 pm on a school night. Your agency has been unwittingly been made to look like you are enabling Parental Alienation given the remarks of your employee who is appearing to support the mother. PA in the view of thousands of people is clearly and unmistakably child abuse whether you can recognize it as such or not. A copy of her lawyers recent correspondence is included to show the mother is already distributing the letter from your office on October 15, 2007.

I am suggesting to you as the CEO of your local agency and a member of the Ontario Association of Children’s Aid Societies to bring the matter forward at future meetings and coordinate the getting of training for the staff of children’s aid offices throughout the province. This malady is getting more and more attention and through advocates like me, who are willing to go public, and some who are actually performing acts of civil disobedience due to the imbalance in the Divorce Industry/Family Court System/Social Services/Child Protection Agencies that favours females. The whole matter of PA is slowly moving from the back burner to mainstream acceptance as a serious issue of child abuse. I will help to take it to the front burner locally. People of celebrity, like Alec Baldwin, will have a much greater impact when his book is published, perhaps later this year.

On a positive note my meeting with your Family Preservation Worker on Wednesday was excellent. The work she does is incredibly challenging but it is exactly what is needed in my situation of great animosity and lack of communication with my ex.

I will end by stating something that is very obvious and you need to ask and answer the question in your own mind. Why would a respected local businessman go public with a sensitive and serious matter like this that has the potential to blow up in his face and ruin what is left of his life, reputation, and business - the latter of which was stripped financially by the ex before she left. No - not for revenge but to ensure my children are appropriately cared for given I will have to deal with Ms. “B” for the rest of my life – long after a divorce is finalized and it is her mental health combined with its impacts on the children and its linear progression into the future that is my major concern. The time to deal with it is now and that will give hope my wonderful daughters can adjust before the turmoil of their teen years helps destroy them emotionally.

Yours truly

Michael J. Murphy

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Chapter 76 ~ A meeting with the Children's Aid Society

Update October 26, 2007: See my letter to the Executive Director of the CAS in Chapter 77 Have a look at the following letter from the Algoma Children's Aid Society. It is dated October 15, 2007 but was presented to me on Monday, October 22, 2007 at a meeting. In it you will see the access parent can do nothing right, the CAS can do nothing about child abuse relating to Parental Alienation (The intake worker who wrote the letter actually recoiled when I was going to give her a brochure from the PAA web site), and they are submitting my name into a data base that will be used against me if required in the future. It better have accurate information and not be full of unsubstantiated lies from the ex. All of this because I care about the behaviour of my children no matter where they are located and the lack of parental responsibility of the mother. I will put them on notice of the forthcoming civil law suit and divorce trial against my ex and that they will be called to testify, their documents warranting putting me in a database subpoenaed and if the information is false it will put them in financial jeopardy let alone cause their reputation to be diminished. It will also assure me of getting broader public attention if the main child protection agency for children in this Province is being put in the unenviable position of having the appearance of enabling child abuse through PA. Clearly the false accusations in the letter from this organization should not have been made in writing on their letter head. Re-read my opening remarks below my blog's title on the home page with respect to bias and the ecosystem surrounding females. Nothing has changed - has it? The letter writer and whoever else assisted in their investigation live in a box and are unable to connect the dots that lead outside of the box to see the insidious effects of the abuse caused by PA. All of the workers involved, as usual, are female, and even though they seem earnest in their work could the deck be stacked in the feminine direction? That isn't a rhetorical question. Stay tuned! Hopefully they are keeping an open mind and my inner sense meekly tells me to be patient and give this a try. Time will tell but my cynics intuition is in high gear. They obviously don't understand Parental Alienation and clearly don't want any information on it to better assess a situation. This is probably agency policy rather than their personal choice but it still shows an organization with blinders on. I do want them to help me with the relationship issues and I have voluntarily sought their assistance. Those of you in the same boat as me will no doubt see this is a status quo situation. Read my formal response following the CAS letter. I'd appreciate comments and observations to help my perspective. Update: October 24, 2007 I just had my first get-together with another person at the CAS, who is the Family Preservation Worker and who was at Monday's meeting. I can report our session this morning was excellent. She is to be an independent and neutral party and due to the nature of her job wishes confidentiality and that will be respected. Some of her functions will be to see if she can coordinate similarities (consistencies) between households, help with identifying activities and assist with communication. Her job is challenging especially between the ex and I with our animosity but I was left with the impression she has valuable experience. I didn't clearly understand her role on Monday but now I have a greater insight. It is important work and I am hopeful it can bear fruit. We will meet again next week and carry on with items discussed to see if Family communication can be improved. I didn't know the CAS had this service and it is a non-protection area that appears to be vital and necessary, especially in my case. I am more optimistic than after Monday's session when I wrote the above. Her job title is highly accurate. The children will be the beneficiaries.

Children’s Aid Society of Algoma

October 15, 2007

Mr. Michael Murphy

682 Old Garden River Road

Sault Ste. Marie, ON

P6A 658

Dear Michael:

I am writing this letter to inform you that your file with the Children's Aid Society has now been transferred from myself and the Intake Child Protection Worker to "AP" as the Family Service Worker. "RC" has been assigned as the Family Preservation Worker.

The Family Service Worker and Family Preservation Worker will work with you to provide you and your children with support given the ongoing stress related to the custody/access issues.

As you are aware, concerns were reported to the Society by you with respect to your children's behaviour on their street when outside with friends. I do not find this to be a child protection matter warranting intervention by the Society. It appears that the neighbour reports to you however, the Society did not receive a report from anyone directly involved in the incident.

Concerns were also reported regarding the mother's ability to manage your children's behaviours including an incident in which she allegedly was outside her home with a knife in her hand. Again, I do not have any direct information or evidence to confirm these allegations. It is my assessment that the ongoing issues regarding custody and access, and the information that neighbours of the mother report information to you, have an impact on your children resulting in an increased level of stress and anxiety. You have made your children aware that you have people watching them and telling you what they do. You have also informed them that you are aware of what goes on with them at school. This does not appear to be helping your relationship with your children as they appear to be perceiving your "watching them" as intimidating. I am able to confirm that your children demonstrate behaviours and anxiety which appear to be the result of the ongoing issues of custody and access. One of your daughters has expressed feeling sick, scared and upset during some access visits you.

I am aware that you contacted the police when your children refused to attend an access visit on September 27, 2007. Given that the outcome of an improved relationship with your children would likely be your desired effect, involving police in an attempt to force access, may not be the best approach in reaching such an outcome.

I was also provided with a letter that you wrote describing behaviour problems exhibited by your children during a recent outing to a Wendy's restaurant while on access with you. In that letter, you were holding the mother responsible for their behaviour while they were with you. I must inform you that the Children's Aid Society does not deal with issues of "Parental Alienation". This is something that you may wish to discuss with a psychologist. It is my assessment that the parent who has care of the children at the time is responsible for appropriately managing their behaviour. CAS and police should not be used as threats for your children when they are not behaving.

I was also provided with email correspondence from the summer between yourself and Peigi. In this correspondence, you talk about issues of your divorce ie. that you would rather get back together with their mom however she doesn't want to; that you don't hate their mother, however, Peigi replies stating that you do hate her and you "call her swears". Given the ongoing custody/access issues that your children have been exposed to, discussion about your divorce are not appropriate for you to have with your daughter.

I am obligated to inform you that whenever the Society receives a report, this information is documented in our electronic document management system along with the results of any intervention by the Society. Should you or any family member who was part of the investigation, become involved with another Children's Aid Society in the province of Ontario that CAS may also have access to this information.

It is my assessment that it would be in your children's best interest for each parent to have their time with their children and deal with what happens in their own home, versus being concerned about what happens in each other's homes. It is also my assessment that the children should be left out of knowledge of ongoing correspondence regarding custody/access issues.

Sincerely

L. F.

Child Protection Worker (CPW)

My response is self explanatory

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

L. F.

Child Protection Worker, Intake

Children’s Aid Society

191 Northern Avenue East,

Sault Ste Marie, ON

P6B 4H8 via fax 949-4747, R.C. 949-1023, A.P. 541-9872

Dear L:

Re: Peigi and Delia

Thank you for your efforts in getting this file opened and working with the children and parents to try and lessen the stress levels that are related to the current parental dispute. I appreciate the time you have already devoted to it including our meeting of yesterday. I have read your letter and want to formally give you my response to the comments within it.

The first and most important area is your Agencies disinclination in wanting to deal with Parental Alienation (PA) for what it is - insidious and cruel child abuse. If you saw a physical bruise on a child you would act immediately but every time my children bad mouth me that is a symptom of a psychic bruise. I understand you are not equipped to deal with it as it is a psychological matter for which you do not have the current tools available. My writing my book and maintaining the blog on the Internet is designed to raise the level of awareness amongst decision makers to put PA on the front burner and get it put into the everyday lexicon of people who should know how abusive it is. I will issue press releases on or before the trial date to assist in drawing attention to it and a portrait of the kind of parent who uses it against children who had a warm and loving relationship with their father.

I wish to remind you the mother is a convicted criminal who shows no remorse for her actions related to her crimes or the destruction of the family caused by her criminal activity in Marathon, ON and in Sault Ste. Marie, ON. She is by definition a liar who will tell you want you want to hear to your face and then bad mouth you after you have left. She has a history of “conning” a great many people with her “I am a professional victim” persona and she is a child abuser both physically and psychologically. She also has undiagnosed mental health disorders that affect her everyday life. Despite being above average in intelligence and having an honours university degree she is still unable to find meaningful work after almost 2.5 years on welfare.

I was disappointed you did not want to take the brochure I provided on Parental Alienation as it is simply designed to increase awareness of possible symptoms of the malady. You have stated in your letter I have told the children I have people watching them in the neighbourhood and school. This is patently untrue. The mother has probably led the children to believe this. The school, of course, would provide no such information to me nor would I manufacture such a statement. By ignoring the content of the PA brochure you have fallen into the trap of believing everything you hear from the mother or the children, particularly Peigi. She is completely under the negative influence of her mother and will repeat anything told to her that is negative about her father. She has been completely brain washed into thinking I am evil. According to Peigi the mother has recently told them I think they are “mental” for wanting to get them counselling and untold other fabrications of a twisted mind.

The story Peigi relates about me calling her mother “swears” is yet another fabrication. It did not happen. It was invented by the mother or Peigi invented it herself – and herein lays the greater danger – the mother loses control of the alienation resulting in the child taking matters into their own hands. In one case an alienated boy shot and killed his father while sitting behind him in the father’s vehicle in the mother’s driveway in Texas on an access pickup. The mother was the gun owner and did nothing to prevent the horrible tragedy. The alienating mother of my children has no ability to show any remorse for her past criminal behaviour and indeed doesn’t even think she has done anything wrong. She would not bat an eye if Peigi committed further violence on me. Instead of verbal abuse, kicking, punching and throwing things at me it is not a big step to attack me from behind with a weapon. If you ignore the symptoms of PA you miss what is really going on by believing everything you are told such as me making my children aware I have people watching them. It is but another lie! There is indeed stress from the divorce process but the alienation of my children started long before the mother took them from the family home. The mother has also, in court documents, indicated she took them from the home based on advice from your worker, Janice West. You may wish to consult Ms. West on the veracity of that statement and if it is untrue then you may see there is a credibility problem with the mother. If the statement was made by Ms. West it was based on false information which I will be dealing with at the trial.

I do not have any trust of the mother’s parental capabilities and will take appropriate action when I am advised the children appear to be not getting the attention or proper supervision they deserve and could be potentially getting into trouble. I cannot stop worrying about them simply because they are in attendance at another person’s house. I am divorcing my wife not my children. Her past criminal behaviour with no remorse speaks for itself. She has a history of irresponsibility in managing her behaviour appropriately and has aptly demonstrated it with her alienation of the children.

You are quite right in stating my calling the police to enforce my court ordered access increases stress and does not help my relationship with Peigi. What do I do – just roll over and say I don’t love my children and don’t want to see them? Wait for a few months and see if things settle down then get accused of not wanting to see my children? You have no idea what the mother is capable of but I do. What you failed to also mention was the mother’s influence over Peigi’s decision to not attend or indeed the passing of the decision making process from the mother to her child. Is it appropriate to have the child make the decision? I think not but it is classic with a weak parent. You may wish to consult the Office of the Children’s Lawyer report to see the comments with respect to allowing the children to make adult decisions – or the PA brochure which is available on the website shown on the business card I left with you. If further criminal charges are brought against her by regulatory authorities who will be the bad guy then? The Crown Prosecutor? Will her increased stress levels then be considered in a more lenient sentence because it will also stress out the children? It is my view that if someone commits grave acts of injustice or crimes they are accountable for it and do not deserve the kind of sympathy you allude to in your letter. I simply do not understand that type of thought process. Would you give the same consideration to a father under similar circumstances? If the mother wishes less stress in her life why did she commit criminal acts that have destroyed the family and got us to this current place?

Peigi does not get or feel ill intrinsically because she visits with me. We had tremendous fun going to the beach, playing in the yard including the trampoline, having the neighbour’s children over this past summer and they had the experience of their lives going to Disney World in August. Peigi feels so loyal to the mother, and the mother is so emotionally weak which she readily telegraphs to the children, that she may think she is disloyal by attending with her father. The complaints made by her neighbours and my resulting corroboration they were true and my actions in dealing with them, as she isn’t providing appropriate discipline as a parent, has had a negative impact without question. The consequences of ignoring inappropriate behaviour by the children are far greater than the temporary downbeat feelings Peigi has of me over trying to keep them out of trouble. I am prepared to deal with this pain as every responsible parent must to ensure the children know the difference between right and wrong and what is moral and immoral. As evidenced by her criminal activity and sexual dalliances with men and women outside of the marriage the mother does not know this difference. My above actions have clearly had a negative affect and that is, in part, what is causing her reluctance to attend but the loyalty because of PA is even bigger and more pronounced. It is a sickness that becomes self-perpetuating. What is happening with access is also classic behaviour relating to PA. The alienator withholds access, the access parent grieves by not being able to see his children but – and here’s the “kicker” if that parent attempts to enforce access, such as myself, I then become the bad parent. Workers, such as at your agency, are sucked into the vortex by becoming unwitting enablers of the PA reinforcing the very behaviour you don’t have the tools to deal with readily. This has already happened as described in the contents of your letter accusing me of actions I did not take.

I expect this case may be a stimulating test of your agencies capabilities in dealing with a major issue that is not within your in-house capabilities. That issue will remain paramount in my much focussed attempts to get it the maximum amount of publicity so that Parental Alienation gets the attention and resources it deserves. Alex Baldwin may also produce a book on it which, because of his celebrity, may get more notice than my much more local attempt. His behaviour in the now infamous phone message he left for his daughter is a clear signal to those of you in the child protection business that this phenomena is a serious issue. His outburst was clearly unjustified but the angst his wife’s actions have caused are not to be ignored. Until a person is subject to this behaviour you can have no idea of its emotional impact. I grieve every day without end for the emotional re-engagement and love of my children. If we lose a loved one to a death the grieving at some point will lessen in intensity. I have been in constant grieving for almost 2 and half years intermixed with some happiness when my children and I were enjoying each other’s company as mentioned above. Add to this the financial nightmare and more recent criminal activity in the family business left behind by the mother for me to deal with and you will get an appreciation that despite it all I remain sane, focussed, non-violent, pleasant but insistent and assertive, as I have taught my daughters to be, able to provide personal world class customer service to the hundreds of people entering my store weekly 6 days a week sometimes 12 hours a day and keep the same staff I hired after my wife took off using lies and deceit. That is not a mean, ill-tempered, violent individual but a very resilient human, albeit imperfect, deserving of a loving relationship with his two youngest children.

Your colleague’s jobs will not be easy given the entrenched and deep feelings of animosity emanating from both parents. My Parental Alienation blog will give them the background that has lead to this current situation and I suggest they read it as it will be helpful in understanding my feelings at least. They may also wish to visit the family web site above to get a sense of my attitude toward my children. That site exists for the family and has no mention of the marital dispute. Another blog I maintained in the past but stopped after the children left is at http://****.blogspot.com . I called it “A Canadian ***** Views.” (Ed. Note: I’ve omitted the titles to protect the children’s privacy). It is a Family Blog dating back to 2003 and ends in the saddest day of my life at Christmas 2005. I still cry when reminded of that day. This journal of daily life was designed for my two adult children so they could get a flavour of the daily life of their dad and sisters. I think it shows me as I am, a caring, compassionate, attentive, loving father of 4 wonderful daughters who have given me the most joy of anything in my life - not the violent person depicted by my ex with false accusations of abuse. I look forward to reengaging that joy with my two youngest with your help. I will provide a fax as well to your colleagues as it may provide useful information for the challenge they face.

Yours truly

Michael J. Murphy

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Equal Parenting has merit

DID YOU KNOW? Key Points Regarding the Value of: EQUAL PARENTING (Rebuttable Presumptive Post-Divorce Equal Parenting Legislation) EQUAL PARENTING is in the best interests of children. (Dr. Robert Bauserman, the American Psychological Association, Journal of Family Psychology, March 2002; Dr. Edward Kruk, Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, Vol. 43(3/4), August 2005; Dr. Warren Farrell, Author, Father and Child Reunion, 2001.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- EQUAL PARENTING is desired by children themselves. (Dr. Edward Kruk, Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, Vol. 43(3/4), August 2005.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- EQUAL PARENTING reduces domestic violence, conflict, and false allegations of abuse. (Dr. Edward Kruk, Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, Vol. 43(3/4), August 2005; Dr. Robert Bauserman, the American Psychological Association, Journal of Family Psychology, March 2002.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- EQUAL PARENTING would stop the massive transfer of wealth from children's standard of living into lawyer's and other disabling professional's pockets. (This statement is self-evident. [Evidence showing expenditures directly by parents to lawyers (about $25,000 per client) because of divorce litigation include: Canadian Lawyer Magazine, The Going Rate, September 2003; Regina Shared Parenting Network, Internal Survey, 2004; Durham Women's Organization [Durham Region, Ontario], [http://www.durhamresponsetowomanabuse.com/report/focus.html], Report, The Focus Group Research 52 Women Speak Out.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- EQUAL PARENTING continues the pre-divorce advantages for children of having both parents fully involved with their lives. (This statement is self-evident. [Also, see: Dr. Edward Kruk, Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, Vol. 43(3/4), August 2005].) ---------------------------------------------------------------- EQUAL PARENTING supports the current extensive involvement of fathers in raising their children. (Dr. Edward Kruk, Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, Vol. 43(3/4), August 2005; Dr. Warren Farrell, Author, Father and Child Reunion, 2001.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- EQUAL PARENTING reduces divorce rates. (Dr. Margaret F. Brinig, Notre Dame Law School, Notre Dame, Indiana; Dr. Douglas W. Allen, Burnaby Mountain Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia; Dr. Sanford Braver, Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tucson, Arizona, Divorced Dads: Shattering the Myths, 1998; F. H. Buckley, Associate Dean, Foundation Professor of Law, George Mason School of Law: Executive Director George Mason Law and Economics Center, George Mason University, Arlington, Virginia.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- EQUAL PARENTING stops the removal of children to a distant jurisdiction by one parent which, of course, is detrimental to a child's well-being given point number one above. (This statement is self-evident.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- EQUAL PARENTING was supported by the feminist movement in the 1960s and 1970s, and it supports the egalitarian feminist's desire for fathers to be equally involved in parenting. (Attorney Karen DeCrow, Former President of the U.S. National Organization for Women (NOW) (1974-1977), Syracuse News Times, January 5, 1994; Dr. Warren Farrell, Author, Father and Child Reunion Part 2 The Politics of Bringing Dad Home Again The Feminism That Was, 2001.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- EQUAL PARENTING is supported by both Erin Pizzey and Senator Anne Cools the founders of the women's shelter movement in the UK and Canada respectively. (Erin Pizzey, Author and Journalist, [http://www.sossandra.org/author/erin-pizzey]; Senator Anne Cools, [http://www.sen.parl.gc.ca/acools/], [http://www.fact.on.ca/news/news0211/rg021114.htm].) ---------------------------------------------------------------- EQUAL PARENTING is a basic human rights issue for both children and parents. (Dr. Michael Ignatieff, Author and Member of Parliament, Parliament of Canada, The Rights Revolution, Chapter IV, 2000.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- EQUAL PARENTING reduces suicide and suicide ideation. (Dr. A. J. Kposowa, Department of Sociology, University of California, Riverside, California, ?Marital Status and Suicide in the National Longitudinal Mortality Study?, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, April 2000, and, Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, 2003, v57, #12; Dr. Pierre Baume, Head - Australian Institute for Suicide Research and Prevention, Griffith University, Queensland, Australia; Dr. Steven Stack, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, Omega: Journal of Death and Dying, 1996-97, v.34, #1.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- EQUAL PARENTING is only a small step past the standard court-ordered access of every other weekend and Wednesday evenings. (This statement is self-evident. [Not counting 10 hours per day of night-time nor 6 hours per day of school-time, current access orders equal about 48 hours every two weeks that the child would be with the access parent, which is about 38% of the time a child is awake and not at school].) ---------------------------------------------------------------- EQUAL PARENTING reduces non-compliance with child support orders. (Dr. Margaret F. Brinig, Notre Dame Law School, Notre Dame, Indiana; Dr. Sanford Braver, Department of Psychology, Arizona State University, Tucson, Arizona, Divorced Dads: Shattering the Myths, 1998; Dr. Warren Farrell, Author, Father and Child Reunion, 2001.) ---------------------------------------------------------------- EQUAL PARENTING IS SUPPORTED BY 80% OF THE CANADIAN PUBLIC! (SES Research, Toronto, Canada, February, 2007, [http://www.sesresearch.com/main.asp].) EQUAL PARENTING IS AN IDEA WHOSE TIME HAS COME! © 2007 Fathers 4 Justice Canada

Monday, June 11, 2007

Gatekeeping ~ ‘Momblocked’ mothers edged out by dads

MSNBC.com
Caregivers can clash when stay-at-home fathers step up their game
By Victoria Clayton
updated 8:31 a.m. ET, Mon., June 11, 2007

Two months after giving birth to her daughter, Jen McClure-Metz received a phenomenal job offer. If she wanted to become a producer on a hit television show, she’d have to start in a month.

McClure-Metz and her husband talked it over and made the same decision many families are making: Dad would stay home full time and take care of their daughter.

“While I never thought that I would end up staying home with Sarah, I knew that I was fully capable of doing so,” says Brian Metz, McClure-Metz’s husband.

But almost four years into it, McClure-Metz began to feel her husband was maybe too capable. He had become more competent and assertive in the child-care arena and it showed in small ways. Metz took over when his wife struggled with the car seat, or put the kibosh on plans when he thought their daughter needed down time.

“Basically, he was the parent in charge and I often felt trumped,” says McClure-Metz.

More and more dads like Metz have become so confident in taking care of the kids that moms can feel edged out, or "momblocked."

Dr. Craig Garfield, a pediatrician and researcher at Chicago's Northwestern University who specializes in the role of men in child-rearing, says it's still the norm for moms to act as the gatekeepers to fathers' involvement with their kids. “I’d still say it would be a unique father who is so confident in his approach to parenting as to block his partner,” Garfield says.

But the growing number of primary-care dads could be reversing this notion.

Besides momblocking, McClure-Metz says her family also has had to come to terms with different parenting styles when Dad is in charge in their Los Angeles home.

“What I’ve noticed with my husband and other stay-at-home dads is that they like to fly by the seat of their pants,” she says. “Consulting a book to them seems like asking for directions. Consequently, they use some interesting, un-PC parenting tactics. I’ve caught my husband saying things like, ‘If you don’t put that back you’ll never have another cookie in your life,’ or, ‘Do you want a birthday party? Because if you don’t stop doing that, I’m going to cancel your birthday party.’”

She also found herself wondering about the more aggressive activities her husband seems to promote. Take the wrestling moves.

“My husband likes to pretend to pile drive our daughter. He acts like he’s going to go right on her but he goes to the side and they think it’s the funniest thing in the world,” McClure-Metz says. “Our daughter now loves to wrestle. I never counted on that.”

Counseling helped Several months ago the couple made their way to a marriage counselor to try to work out some of these issues.

“It was a great thing to do,” McClure-Metz says. “We were experiencing friction but didn’t see the bigger picture. It was enlightening to have someone point out that when you switch traditional gender roles, it’s often stressful.”

Brian Metz says the counseling sessions gave him valuable insights as well.

“You just have to communicate that much more with your spouse when you’re going against what society typically dictates,” he says.

What McClure-Metz learned was that her husband was not trying to “block” her for the sake of edging her out; sometimes it was that he simply knew their child better.

“Now I can admit it: My husband is slightly more in tune with our daughter than I am because he spends far more time with her,” she says.

That’s often a hard thing for working moms to face, says Tom Vytacil, a stay-at-home dad for the past five years and a founder of Minnesota Dads At Home, a support group for stay-at-home fathers.

“We’ve dealt with similar issues,” Vytacil says of his family life. There was a time when Vytacil’s daughter wouldn’t allow her mom to pour water over her head in the bathtub, but she’d let him do it. “I just had to tell my wife, ‘Look, we’ve been through it. That’s all it is.’”

Vytacil says that with enough reassurance and communication between parents, the issues can usually be resolved.

Moms who feel edged out should take heart, says Philip Lerman, author of “Dadditude: How a Real Man Became a Real Dad.”

“When it comes to parenting, mothers are God. They created you,” Lerman says. “You don’t go to God and say, ‘What have you done for me lately?’ Mothers have this incredible, undeniable bond with the child. Fathers are always just trying to catch up.”

Lerman, who quit his job on the television show “America’s Most Wanted” to spend more time with his son Max, urges more dads to play active roles in their children’s lives.

And, in fact, most moms do want their partners to be more involved with the children. A survey from Working Mother Media found that 68 percent of dads take no child-care leave at all and that most mothers say they would like more help from fathers.

Just say no to nitpicking Aaron Rochlen, a psychologist and researcher on primary-care dads at the University of Texas in Austin, says being less critical seems to be the key to happiness when it comes to moms who want their partners to take on child-care responsibilities.

“We found that the guys who had a supportive wife, family and friends were the most likely to be doing well in their role as a primary parent,” Rochlen says.

Another factor: parental self-efficacy. If the dad felt competent as a parent, he was happier and more likely to continue to be heavily involved.

McClure-Metz agrees that nitpicking doesn’t work. “Sometimes my husband will say, ‘OK, I get it.’ And he’ll try to change his parenting tactics,” she says. “But overall I’ve just had to let go and appreciate his way of doing things and that this arrangement works for our family. Our daughter is doing incredibly well.”

When it’s Mom’s time to take care of their daughter, Brian Metz agrees that he also backs off now and lets her take over. “(Now) I only use momblocking in fun,” says Metz. “If my wife tries to do something with our daughter that isn’t quite working out for her, I will say, ‘Let me try, I’m the primary caregiver.’ But it’s always as a joke, and she knows it.”

If couples can work out their differences, there are benefits to reap from having a heavily involved dad. Studies show social and academic advantages.

“Research also points to fathers playing more with their children, and through that play kids learn lots of things, like self-regulation, exploration, different uses of their body, sounds and space,” Garfield says. Mothers certainly play too, but they are usually more quiet and relational. “Kids can learn a lot from both types,” he says.

Garfield says the best parenting is done with mutual respect between parents with an eye toward what’s best for the child. Even if you get a daughter who is a wrestling fan.

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/19092063/page/2/