Thursday, February 5, 2009

Why is this a worldwide epidemic?

Defiant: mother tells why she took her son and ran
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Caroline Overington February 02, 2009
Article from: The Australian
MELINDA Stratton is a woman on the run. In April last year, she fled Australia with her four-year-old son, Andrew, to avoid a custody hearing in the Family Court.
In December, her husband, NSW deputy fire chief Ken Thompson, asked the court to lift a ban on identifying Andrew so he could launch an international campaign to find the boy.
Photographs of Andrew are now plastered on buses in Europe, and on billboards in England. Mr Thompson has launched a website, and a group email has gone around the world, urging people to contact Interpol if they see Ms Stratton.
Ms Stratton - a professional woman from Sydney's northern suburbs, who has an MBA, speaks French and German, and has lived and worked abroad - has so far managed to dodge the authorities, but yesterday emerged from seclusion to tell her side of the story.
A 10-page letter - the first contact between Ms Stratton and anyone outside her immediate family since last April - was provided to The Australian with no identifying marks. It was dated January 15.
Ms Stratton says she had no choice other than to flee Australia, because she had lost faith in the Family Court.
She says the balance of the court - once firmly in favour of granting custody to mothers - had tipped dramatically towards fathers. The Howard government's regime of "shared parenting" had given power to fathers at the expense of mothers.
"I have lost all faith in any form of justice coming out of Australia," Ms Stratton says.
"By remaining silent, however, I ensure that they (the Family Court) can continue to treat other mothers and children this way."
Ms Stratton does not say where she is hiding, but adds: "Currently, my son is well and happy.
"I spent $30,000 on court proceedings. I have been told I will receive harsh penalties as 'punishment' for leaving from the Family Court.
"I am in my 40s. My son is only four. His welfare and future are my priority.
"The decision to break all contact with my family and friends, leave my job and our home was not taken lightly.
"I also understand that the Family Court could take my son away from me and give Ken full custody of him, again as punishment."
The battle between Ms Stratton and Mr Thompson for access to Andrew is complex and bitter.
She says he suffers from depression and anxiety. He says he suffered from "mild anxiety" when his first marriage ended 20 years ago.
"It was nothing more than mild anxiety," he says.
"It was a very difficult time, but it was also a very long time ago."
When he launched his campaign to find Andrew, Mr Thompson said that his former wife had a "mental condition". On his blogs, he says she is "paranoid" and that she may harm Andrew rather than return him to Sydney.
Ms Stratton says she has "no mental problems whatsoever".
Ms Stratton has made more serious allegations against Mr Thompson but The Australian is constrained by law from publishing them. She made the allegations in December 2007, left the family home in January last year, and the country in April.
Mr Thompson strenuously denies his wife's claims, saying she "made all kinds of allegations ... the psychologists have said there is no reason to even investigate them".
Ms Stratton says the court psychologist is biased against mothers. She points to papers presented by Family Court practitioners in which they say that mothers can make up allegations of abuse and that children can be manipulated by their mothers to say they have been abused.
The identity of the psychologist is protected by the Family Law Act (1975).
The Family Court ignored Ms Stratton's complaints and ordered her to make their son available for supervised contact with his father three or four times a week.
She complied only a few times before fleeing.
Her move was not unprecedented: although there have been some high-profile cases of men leaving Australia with their children - such as in the case of Canadian mother Melissa Hawach, whose two children were taken to Lebanon by their Sydney-based father and freed by mercenaries - it is overwhelmingly the mother who flees.
According to the Attorney-General's Department, more than 120 children were abducted and taken out of Australia last year. In 75 per cent of cases, the mother was suspected of taking the children.
Mr Thompson said his former wife should return to Australia. "I'm not the one who has run away from the court," he said. "I'm the one who took court action.
"She's decided that the police were wrong, the courts were wrong, the psychologists are wrong, and she's right.
"If she's right, I don't understand why she doesn't come back and see the matter through in the Family Court.
"What kind of country do we live in if people can disagree with what the court says, and just take off?"
The AFP is conducting a criminal investigation into Andrew's abduction and subsequent disappearance.
Interpol has also issued alerts for Ms Stratton and Andrew in 187 countries.
The Family Court publication order warns anyone recognising Ms Stratton or her son not to approach them and to instead pass the information on to police.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Children of Elsa Newman ARE NOT ALONE!

The Slobodow children are not alone, although some of my writing in the past may have made it seem so, since I have so focused on the plight of their mother, unjustly imprisoned in the state of Maryland—and the plight of the two sons, in the custody of a father about whom they have revealed sexual molestation, as well as other abuses.

I’ve come to the conclusion that my scope has been too narrow to draw the attention I need.
Yes…my primary focus is still the Elsa Newman case. Newman is in the state of Maryland, charged and convicted of a crime committed and confessed to by another person who acted on her own, without any prior knowledge on the part of Newman…without any assistance from Newman…without any conspiring with anybody.

This other person is Margery Landry, a woman who entered the home of Arlen Slobodow—through, I believe, a basement window. She was in search of evidence that would convict Slobodow of the molestation of Newman’s children. What she found during her search was an Arlen Slobodow, father of Newman’s children, nude from the waist down, in bed with a child who was completely nude. She lost her cool and tried to “pull them apart,” a phrase which would indicate to me that there was something more than sleeping going on. Slobodow reacted by attempting to turn on Landry the gun she had carried “for protection,” since Slobodow had previously assaulted her—although I’m not sure exactly what protection two whole bullets would have been, and that was all Landry had loaded in the clip. At any rate, Slobodow was eventually shot in the leg, the angle of the bullet indicating that Landry had been on the floor when the gun went off.

The passage of time between Landry’s flight and Slobodow’s 911 call would indicate that he may well have taken time to erase from his computer the very evidence that Landry had sought.
By the time of the 911 call, Slobodow was ready to set up the case for the prosecution: “My wife,” he said, “sent someone to kill me.” Of course, even if that had been true, there is no way he could have known it. Beyond getting help for himself, his primary concern seemed to be, “Don’t let my wife take my kids.” As I’ve said before in this and other blogs—I’m sure he didn’t want Newman to take the kids at that point; had she had physical custody, even temporarily, she would have taken them to doctors and/or psychiatrists or other professionals who would have been able to verify the abuse that had been taking place.

So why do I think my focus has been too narrow? Because my sites are not getting enough hits from enough people who might be able to take a hand in further investigating this crime—and establishing what is so clearly a case of unjust conviction and unjust imprisonment.

Thus it seems to me that it is time for me to begin saying again that Elsa Newman is only one of thousands of women in the United States who have lost children to court-ordered abuse. In many, if not most of these cases, children are “kidnapped,” “stolen,” “betrayed” by courts they and their mother trusted; and then the children and placed in the custody of a parent who molests or abuses.

Glenn Sacks is radio talk-show host and a “man” who concerns himself with the rights of "fathers" [would "sperm donors" perhaps be a better term? Being a "sperm donor" does not make a man a father, any more than having a child in utero makes a woman a mother]—who are, in the cases I research, the primary molesters and abusers. He has said that he is interested in truth and is not riding a hobby horse for fathers’ rights. And yet when I wrote to him, in as unbiased an email as I could manage, he ignored me, and did not respond. Was I not sufficiently unbiased to suit his purposes? In other words, did I dare to presume in my email that it is sometimes the father who is at fault?

Children are being kidnapped by courts, with the help of psychologists who frame phony analyses of mothers and fathers and recommend unsupervised visitation for the fathers—or complete physical custody for the father, apparently disregarding a father’s habit of abuse.

Children are being snatched from protective mothers who have loved and cared for them, who have, in fact, been the primary caregiver for all of the children’s lives. The reason cited is often a nasty little invention called “Parental Alienation Syndrome,” or “PAS.” It was created by a man named Gardner, who insisted that sex with children is perfectly permissible and that the children, no matter how young, can learn to enjoy it.


What it means is that one parent—usually it is the father and his cohorts who accept this “syndrome that is not a syndrome—uses an accusation of PAS, no matter if that accusation is founded in fact or not. The courts seem to care little, if at all. And then these children are stolen by the court and placed in the custody of an abusive father.

Now we learn that there are actually “deprogramming centers,” where a child thus stolen can be sent for “treatment”. A recent case in Canada—a country I understand to be rife with the problem of stolen children and fathers’ rights initiatives aimed at protecting pedophiles —removed three girls from the custody of a mother they loved and sent them to such a “deprogramming center” in an unknown location, I believe in the US.

And who pays for this? Three guesses: and here is the answer, from an online group which allows me to join them, even though I am not among the ranks of mothers whose children have been stolen by the courts: “… you just asked if the mother is supposed to pay...the answer is yes, she is responsible for ALL cost, attorney's fees, therapy and travel, I think.”

Further: "Then if they can't pay they charge them with contempt, sanctions and sometimes put them in jail until they do pay. It's court ordered extortion."

In a similar fashion, a mother must pay for supervised visitation, if the court decides to “allow” her to see her child when said child has been handed over to a molester.

So desperate has this situation become that there is now a website for children who have thus been kidnapped, stolen from their mothers. The website is On this site, a mother can post a message for her kidnapped or stolen children. Many of these stolen children are computer savvy. They can get on the net, search for information about their mothers, and leave a message on the site to reconnect with Mom—who has left a message there for them.

We were all appalled when we learned that Roman Catholic priests were perpetrating abuse on children in their congregations. Now we find that this same sort of contamination has visited itself upon the Hassidic Jewish community:

Or take a look at YouTube, where Rabbi Nochum Rosenberg speaks out against molestation by the men of the Hassidic community. On Rabbi Rosenberg’s forehead is the mark of a bullet wound. He came that close to dying in a drive-by shooting:

This is no problem of small proportions. It is huge. It is growing. It is visiting itself upon every community in this country—and in multiple other countries around the world. There was a day in the history of the US when a father literally “owned” his wife and children. He could legally beat his wife, although many states provided that he must use a stick no larger in circumference than the judge’s thumb. He could treat his wife in any way he wanted. He could treat his children any way he wanted. And it was nobody else’s business. They belonged to him.

Have we come full circle? Are wives and mothers and children again merely possessions, to be treated according to the whim of the husband and father? It seems so.

S0--as in the case of ******************[name had to be removed because of ongoing court procedures which endangered this mother's right and need to have custody of her daughter; I can no longer use the name, although I previously had permission, permission to use the mother's name in writing]--the father who demanded that she abort her daughter, declared, upon J*******’s refusal, that she should then prepare to beggar herself, because he would take possession of the child. He has more money. He has a new wife. He has the child, compliments of a corrupt court system. ******** is limited to the supervised visitation prescribed by the court at the time of theft of the little girl.

And********, of course, with no-to-low income, must spend much of what she has if she wants to see her daughter. Fortunately this case is not yet final. There are hearings coming up which allow the possibility that the kidnapped child will be returned to the mother. And I must note here that not only does this mother desperately want her child, but the child yearns to be back with her mother.

Fathers’ Rights. Fathers’ Rights Activists. Fathers’ Rights Courts. Fathers’ Rights Psychologists and Psychiatrists.

When will we arrive at the real issue: what are the rights of the child? What is in the best interests of the child?

The children of this country, the future of this country, are at risk here.