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Wednesday, 4 June 2008

A reply recieved from Bridget Prentice

I went to see my MP, William Cash and told him all about Ralph Underwager and Richard Gardner and the secret family courts. Here is the letter I recieved:

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From William Cash, MP for Stone

Dear (Zoompad)

In the light of the representations I have made on your behalf I have now received the attached letter from Bridget Prentice MP who has sought personally to address the issues I raised.

I hope that the Justice Minister has gone some way to addressing the serious issues which you raised and I would ask you to read the letter carefully.

Please do not hesitate to contact me again on any issue where I might be of assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Bill Cash

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Reply from Bridget Prentice 8th August 2007

Thank you for your letter of 30 May to Lord Falconer on behalf of your constituent (Zoompad), about expert evidence and transparency of the family courts. I am replying as the minister now responsible for family justice issues. I am sorry for the delay in this response coming but hope that you and (Zoompad) will find the information provided helpful.

I am not sure what (Zoompad) is referring to when she writes in her letter about the family courts using the Pennysylvanian psychologists Ralph Underwager and Richard Gardner. In all cases where an expert is instructed to provide evidence, their role is to provide an opinion entirely independent to those who are a party to the proceedings. Experts must confine their opinion to matters that are material to the issues in the case; and that relate to questions within their own area of expertise. When making any decisions in family cases, courts must take into account the overriding duty to treat the welfare of the child as paramount. The Judge makes his or her decision after hearing and considering all the evidence put before the court by the parties and any other witnesses, including experts.

The Government is committed to ensuring the evidence provided by experts is of the highest quality research and represents the current state of knowledge about the issue in question. In October 2006, the Chief Medical Officer published the report, “Bearing Good Witness: Proposals for reforming the delivery of expert medical evidence in family law cases”. The report reviewed the use of medical expert witnesses within the family courts and made proposals to secure a sustainable supply of competent, quality –assured medical expert witnesses in the future. A summery of responses to the proposals is available on the Department of Health website at ; www.dh.gov.uk/consultations/fs/en, which may be of interest to your constituent.

(Zoompad) also had concerns about secrecy in the family courts. The Government published a consultation paper titled “Confidence and confidentiality: Improving transparency and privacy in family courts” on 11 July 2006 which put forward a number of proposals with the aim of improving public confidence in the family courts, and safeguarding the privacy of those involved in proceedings. In addition to the 245 formal responses from individuals and organisations, a series of events were arranged that gave people the opportunity to debate the proposals, including an on-line forum for children. An overview of the consultation responses was published on 22 March of this year, together with a Young people’s guide to responses.

The Government published a further consultation paper on 20 June 2007, which can be downloaded from http://www.justice.gov.uk/publications/cp1007.htm or obtained from my department. The consultation closes on 1 October 2007. The paper has two purposes. Firstly, it announces proposals which will be taken forward as a result of the 2006 consultation. Secondly, it will consult on some limited further proposals. The proposals aim to promote a culture of openness in the family courts, while promoting he best interests of children. The Government plans:

To pilot the provision of better information by providing more information in certain cases about how the court has reached its decision for the people involved in proceedings and for those who were subject to proceedings as children;

To publish an anonymised transcript or an anonymised decision summery (for example where a child is perminantly removed from one or both parents);

To clarify the rules on who can attend family courts, and what reporting restrictions apply; and

To develop an online information hub to provide general information on the different tiers of family court, what happens in each, on what basis the judiciary reaches decisions, and what to expect if you are going to be involved in proceedings.

The paper makes further proposals:

To allow wider disclosure of information by parties involved in family court proceedings involving children, and which are heard in private; and

To protect the identity of the children beyond the end of proceedings.

Finally, in response to (Zoompad’s) comments on family court costs, we spend about £225m a year on running the family courts in England and Wales. A large proportion of this cost is recovered in court fees payable by applicants.

The calculation of fees for family proceedings is based on taking account of the cost of all the resources needed to run the system. This includes the salaries of relevant judiciary and court staff, general administrative costs including the cost of supporting Information Technology systems, accommodation and an appropriate share of other overheads.

The part of the cost not covered by fees is met by the general taxpayer as part of the resource budget of the Ministry of Justice. The Ministry’s overarching concern is to ensure access to justice and a system of fee concessions provides an effective means of achieving this for less well-off citizens. In the previous financial year, the taxpayer, in effect paid subsidies in family proceedings of nearly £22 million.

I hope this clarifies the situation for (Zoompad) and I enclose a copy of this letter for you to send to her if you wish to.

BRIDGET PRENTICE

My Correspondence with the Government and the Judiciary

I think I ought to share the letters that I have written and recieved from the Justice Department, because the subject matter is of such concern for anyone who cares about child protection and keeping children safe from being abused.

To The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
Royal Courts of Justice
The High Court
Strand
London WC1

From (Zoompad)
My Address
Tel:
My email


1st March 2007



Dear Lord Chief Justice,

I wrote to you about the problems that I am having with the Family Courts on the 19th October 2006, but did not receive a satisfactory response.

I shall be performing a prayer meeting in Whitehall in March, for the 29 dead children who were murdered by their fathers, following decisions made by the Family Courts to force them to have contact with abusive men. This is part of a protest about the Family Courts, in particular, the secrecy that surrounds these proceedings, and the threats of imprisonment, which are being made by Cafcass to women whose only “crime” is to seek to protect their children.

We are extremely concerned about the training of Cafcass officers and of the psychologists whose evidence is so important in these proceedings. There are three “disorders” that are being used against abused women in these proceedings, they are:

1) Munchausens Syndrome By Proxy (Psychologist Sir Roy Meadows)
2) False Memory Syndrome (Psychologist Dr Ralph Underwager)
3) Parental Alienation Disorder (Psychologist Dr Richard A Gardner)

There are very serious concerns not only about the validity of these papers, but also of the morals of two of the psychologists who wrote them. I think that you ought to look at the attached papers that I have enclosed. I have also sent copies of these documents to the press.

Yours Faithfully,

Zoompad


RICHARD A. GARDNER: IN HIS OWN WORDS

(In the interests of avoiding "MISPERCEPTIONS VERSUS FACTS ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTIONS OF RICHARD A. GARDNER, M.D.")

"At the present time, the sexually abused child is generally considered to be the victim," though the child may initiate sexual encounters by 'seducing' the adult." Gardner, Richard A., Child Custody Litigation (1986), p.93

“Sexualising children can have procreative purposes, because a sexualised child is more likely to reproduce at an earlier age. "The younger the survival machine at the time sexual urges appear, the longer will be the span of procreative capacity, and the greater the likelihood the individual will create more survival machines in the next generation." Gardner, Richard A., True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse (1992), pp.24-25

"It is of interest that of all the ancient peoples it may very well be that the Jews were the only ones who were punitive toward paedophiles." Ibid. pp.46-47

Many child advocates are "charlatans, and/or psychopaths, and/or incompetents." Ibid. p.526

"It is extremely important for therapists to appreciate that the child who has been genuinely abused may not need psychotherapeutic intervention." Ibid. p.535

"There is a whole continuum that must be considered here, from those children who were coerced and who gained no pleasure (and might even be considered to have been raped) to those who enjoyed immensely (with orgastic responses) the sexual activities." Ibid. p.548

"Older children may be helped to appreciate that sexual encounters between an adult and a child are not universally considered to be reprehensible act. The child might be told about other societies in which such behaviour was and is considered normal. The child might be helped to appreciate the wisdom of Shakespeare's Hamlet, who said, 'Nothing's either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.' In such discussions the child has to be helped to appreciate that we have in our society an exaggeratedly punitive and moralistic attitude about adult-child sexual encounters. Ibid. p.549

"If the mother has reacted to the abuse in a hysterical fashion, or used it as an excuse for a campaign of denigration of the father, then the therapist does well to try and 'sober her up'... Her hysterics... will contribute to the child's feeling that a heinous crime has been committed and will thereby lessen the likelihood of any kind of rapprochement with the father. One has to do everything possible to help her put the 'crime' in proper perspective. She has to be helped to appreciate that in most societies in the history of the world, such behaviour was ubiquitous, and this is still the case." Ibid. p.584-585

"Mothers who have been sexually abused as children may have residual anger toward her molesting father or other sexual molester, and this may be interfering with her relationship with her husband. This should be explored in depth, and she should be helped to reduce such residual anger... Perhaps she can be helped to appreciate that in the history of the world his behaviour has probably been more common than the restrained behaviour of those who do not sexually abuse their children." Ibid. p.585

"It is likely that the mother has sexual problems... In many cases she herself was sexually molested as a child... She may never have achieved an orgasm -- in spite of the fact that she was sexually molested, in spite of the fact that she had many lovers, and in spite of the fact that she is now married. The therapist, then, does well to try to help her achieve such gratification. Verbal statements about the pleasures of orgasmic response are not likely to prove very useful. One has to encourage experiences, under proper situations of relaxation, which will enable her to achieve the goal of orgasmic response... Vibrators can be extremely useful in this regard, and one must try to overcome any inhibition she may have with regard to their use... her own diminished guilt over masturbation will make it easier for her to encourage the practice in her daughter, if this is warranted. And her increased sexuality may lessen the need for her husband to return to their daughter for sexual gratification." Ibid. pp.584-585

"If he [the molesting father] doesn't know this already, he has to be helped to appreciate that paedophilia has been considered the norm by the vast majority of individuals in the history of the world. He has to be helped to appreciate that, even today, it is a widespread and accepted practice among literally billions of people. He has to appreciate that in our Western society especially; we take a very punitive and moralistic attitude toward such inclinations... He has had a certain amount of back [sic] luck with regard to the place and time he was born with regard to social attitudes toward paedophilia. However, these are not reasons to condemn himself." Ibid. pp.593

"Of relevance here is the belief by many of these therapists that a sexual encounter between an adult and a child -- no matter how short, no matter how tender, loving, and non-painful -- automatically and predictably _must_ be psychologically traumatic to the child... The determinant as to whether the experience will be traumatic is the social attitude toward these encounters." Ibid. pp.670-71

"I believe it is reasonable to say that at this time there are millions of people in the United States who are either directly accusing or supporting false sex-abuse accusations and/or are reacting in an extremely exaggerated fashion to situations in which _bona fide_ sex abuse has occurred." Ibid. p.688

“Mandated reporting of child abuse has resulted in the "reporting of the most frivolous and absurd accusations by two- and three-year-olds, vengeful former wives, hysterical mothers of nursery school children, and severely disturbed women against their elderly fathers." Gardner, Richard A., Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 5(1), p.26

"We need well-publicized civil lawsuits against incompetent and/or overzealous psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, child protection workers, 'child advocates,' police, and detectives whose ineptitude has promulgated a false accusation."



LITANY FOR FATHERS
written by Ralph Underwager, Ph. D.
for The American Coalition for Fathers and Children (ACFC) June, 1998


Leader: Father, you volunteered to be our father knowing what it was to be a father and who we are. Therefore, open your heart to our perplexity and emptiness and show us what fatherhood is so we know where to aim.

Underwager: Paedophiles can make the assertion that the pursuit of intimacy and love is what they choose. With boldness they can say, "I believe this is in fact part of God's will.

Response: HEAR OUR PRAYERS, O LORD!

L. Father, you have experienced the mystery, awe, and wonder of being a father while we stumble, mumble, and search in blindness, fear, and confusion. Lead us to where you have gone before so we may follow with courage, resolution, and perseverance.

Underwager: Take the risk, the consequences of the risk, and make the claim: this is something good. Paedophiles need to become more positive and make the claim that paedophilia is an acceptable expression of God's will for love and unity among human beings. This is the only way...

R. HEAR OUR PRAYERS, O LORD!

L. Father, you give us children to be ours. But when they are hurt, yours is the first tear that is shed. Let us know how you hurt for all our children. Let us know what we need to understand and do to heal and restore wholeness to our children as you bind up our wounds.

Underwager: Given this schizophrenia and these hysterical attitudes about childhood sexuality, it's going to be difficult for paedophiles to appear more positive, to start saying they're not exploiters of children, that they love children, the sexual part included...

R. HEAR OUR PRAYERS, O LORD!

L. Father, you rejoice, delight, and eternity echoes with your laughter when our children are loved, giggle, sing with joy, and yell with exultation. Show us how to rejoice when we see and hear them and learn from their wonder at life.

Underwager: Paedophiles need to become more positive and make the claim that paedophilia is an acceptable expression of God's will for love and unity among human beings.

R. HEAR OUR PRAYERS, O LORD!

L. Father, you want a good life for us and we want a good life for our children. Open us to goodness, love, and nurturance rather than hate, anger, and pride so that we can open golden doors and straight paths for our children.

Underwager: As with all human behavior, I would suggest that paedophiles can say, "I have chosen; I choose; I will act in this fashion. I believe that the outcome will be good..."

R. HEAR OUR PRAYERS, O LORD!

L. When your heart breaks and your chest fills with pain at seeing your children imprisoned in falseness, know that our hearts and chests do too and keep us from paralyzing despair and impotence.

Underwager: The blame for everything gets put on the so-called deviants, while the true American remains at home, pure, probably mortifying the flesh, crucifying the body, being a good citizen.

R. HEAR OUR PRAYERS, O LORD!

L. When enemies shoot out their tongues, buzz their mean words, sneak, and plot to steal our children, shield us with your truth and hold us and our children in your strong arms.

Underwager: I would add radical feminism, which includes a pretty hefty dose of anti-maleness. I think in a very real way, these women may be jealous that males are able to love each other, be comrades, friends, be close, intimate, work cooperatively, function in groups. The point where men may say that maleness can include the intimacy and closeness of sex may make women jealous. This would hold true for male bonding, and paedophile sex too. The woman is jealous of the connection.

R. HEAR OUR PRAYERS, O LORD!

L. When enemies rage against us, pierce our souls with barbs, and bury us under their stones of wrath, give us the strength to believe your promise, freely given, that vengeance is yours and you will repay. Then let us lay aside our resentments and angers and leave room for divine retribution while we sleep calmly.

Underwager: Paedophiles are too defensive. They go around saying, "You people out there are saying that what I choose is bad, that it's no good. You're putting me in prison, you're doing all these terrible things to me. I have to define my love as being in some way or other illicit." What I think is that paedophiles can make the assertion that the pursuit of intimacy and love is what they choose.

R. HEAR OUR PRAYERS, O LORD!

L. When we surrender to rage, disappointment, sunder our minds and spirits in shards, and try to feed our children stones rather than bread, cast us not aside.

Underwager: What I have been struck by as I have come to know more about and understand people who choose paedophilia is that they let themselves be too much defined by other people. That is usually an essentially negative definition. Paedophiles spend a lot of time and energy defending their choice. I don't think that a paedophile needs to do that.

R. HAVE MERCY ON US, O LORD!

L. When we are lost and searching for something, anything, to make it better for us and our children, take us by the hand and lead us to a place we can start again.

Underwager: Sex has always been the penultimate answer to the ultimate question, which is unity and wholeness. In theological terms, sex has been the way that human beings have tried to avoid dealing with the mystery of the Trinity, the mystery of Unity. Sex is penultimate.

R. HAVE MERCY ON US, O LORD!

L. Finally, when we and our children are safely home with you, and we can start the party you have promised us all, be there with us to watch the lambs and lions play, the children and the serpents snuggle, fathers and mothers laugh, clap hands and cry for joy, and be pleased at the life of children created as partners with you.

Underwager: I was urging earlier that you make the loving image clearer to the outside world. What appears to the public is not the picture of a loving man but rather the picture of the dirty old man lurking in alleys, waiting for nice innocent young lads to come by, grabbing their genitalia and hustling them off and sort of casting them aside and waiting for the next one.

R. HAVE MERCY ON US, O LORD!

L. Then join us in a glass of wine, a sup of milk and honey, the sweet fragrance of frankincense and myrrh, tender touch, the sound of beloved voices, the sight of lips, eyes, and mouths long known, and roll around with us in the clover.

Underwager: I do believe it is God's will that we have freedom. I believe that God's will is that we have absolute freedom. No conditions, no contingencies. When the blessed apostle Paul says, "All things are lawful for me," he says it not once but four times. "All things are lawful for me."

R. AMEN.

Underwager: Paedophiles can boldly and courageously affirm what they choose. They can say that what they want is to find the best way to love. I am also a theologian and as a theologian, I believe it is God's will that there be closeness and intimacy, unity of the flesh, between people. A paedophile can say: "This closeness is possible for me within the choices that I've made."

Underwager: The solution that I'm suggesting is that paedophiles become much more positive. They should directly attack the concept, the image, the picture of the paedophile as an evil, wicked, and reprehensible exploiter of children.

Monday, 2 June 2008

My ex solicitor is still claiming legal aid for me

I found out yesterday that a family court solicitor called Murray Cantlay is still claiming legal aid for me seven months after I dismissed him and began to represent myself.

I have to say that for the seven long years of family court absolute hell I have suffered I feel that I was representing myself anyway. I am in the process of making a formal complaint against this Stoke - on - Trent based family law solicitor and it is going to be a pretty explosive law suit when the whole story comes out in the National media.

I'm a Christian, and my philosophy has always been peace, love and forgiveness. But there are certain individuals who have maliciously persecuted me for no reason whatsoever. I have decided to forgive these people. I will show them great mercy and Christian love by visiting them when they are in prison and reading the Bible to them. It's the least I can do.