Children Must Be Seen, Heard, and Believed: Powell v Jones Defamation Case Elucidated (Part 1)

With the Powell v Jones defamation case, the decision of federal court judges has delivered the final word. But we live to fight another day for children’s rights.

Speech and the ability to protect children were given a lethal blow. But the truth goes marching on.

This article gives necessary background to the Powell v Jones defamation case. It also affords another example of how we help our clients.

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After the dissolution of a ten-year marriage, the mother in question (a medical professional, highly trained, and highly respected in her field) fastidiously avoided raising the issues of physical abuse of herself and her two young daughters.

The uncontested divorce was settled, awarding 50/50 custody to the parties.

For several years, the father had liberal access to the children and to her; he had a key to her house and could enter as he pleased. Over time, though, the children expressed increasing distress, wishes not to see him, not to be left alone with him.

Their older half-sister, in graduate school, played a significant role as their protector and the person who filed complaints with DCF about the father’s physical abuse of the children.

The father’s expressed attitude was, “They are mine and I can do as I want with them.” All attempts at establishing any boundaries or controls failed even as the children became increasingly verbal as to their specific complaints about their father.

Finally there was no denying the physical and emotional abuse, the intrusiveness and attempts at removing all autonomy from the girls, as well as their mother, whose complete silence was to be insured at all costs.

Raising the issues that had been brooding for years meant returning to court.

Return to Court Post Dissolution – Custody Reframed

With the assistance of custody evaluator Erick Frazer PhD, advertised as a “Father’s Rights advocate,” running seminars for fathers, teaching them what to say, how to present themselves, Frazer is known for creating notoriously fictionalized evaluations.

The fictional evaluations were obviously incompetent to a professional eye, but they were embraced for their ability to be weaponized by lawyers litigating under the fake rubric of “Parental Alienation.”

Parental Alienation is a scientifically debunked theory, based on the concept that men should be allowed to have sex with their children and mothers are “jealous” of the privilege, bestowed by the pervert who created the theory, Richard Gardner MD.

This theory has been embraced and applied by family courts across the country, by lawyers who have defended pedophile parents.

They have won cases, suggesting that such acts never occurred, when they did, and that mothers were making false allegations to keep the father from the children.

In the case at hand, the false allegation created by Eric Frazer stated that the mother of these children was afflicted with a diagnosis so toxic, so criminal (Munchausen by Proxy), that the court moved to remove the children as soon as the words of the fake diagnosis wafted across the airways.

The mother was adjudicated as too dangerous to be near the children.

Every effort she made to de-escalate tensions around child abuse was immediately used against her and the children.

The children were 8 and 11 years old when they were removed from their mother, never to see her again as their loving mother for the next nearly six years and beyond.

Their beloved older sister died suddenly and inexplicably while living and working as a nurse in Colorado. Her loss was devastating, but the factorial compounding of the loss was initiated by the fact that the girls were not allowed to speak of their sister who defended them against their father’s abuse. Their father hated their sister, just as she hated him. The girls in his household were expected to uphold his attitudes, defend him, and agree with him, or be silent.

The Facts and Results of Frazer’s “Evaluation”

The distraught mother reached out to the FCVFC, and I began reviewing thousands of pages of documents.

The first step I wanted to take was reporting Eric Frazer to the Psychology Licensing Board for hearing on the complaint.

But consent for release of all necessary records had to come through the father, who had full custody of the girls. So that avenue was blocked.

Had we been able to file suit for malpractice against Frazer, we could have filed for discovery and subpoenaed all documents. We could have called witnesses, all of which would  have detailed the criminal actions of abuse against the children and their mother.

But at that time there was nothing we could do about Frazer.

Evaluations by incompetent practitioners who also happened to be possessed of deranged minds and psychopathic characters follow those whom they victimize for years and deprive them of rights not allowed to judges in court acting under Due Process restrictions.

So was the case with the incompetent character assassination reports of Eric Frazer. His reports wrote the children off as liars and mentally ill. This made any defense of them impossible before a closed-minded judge with a firm belief in the absolute authority of judges.

The children were told their mother was crazy and dangerous and that was why they were not allowed to see her.

The girl’s father was given authority by the court over whom they could or could not see or speak with. The children were allowed brief supervised visits in the company of a paid individual who monitored and edited interactions.

Their own experience with Frazer never caused them to doubt their mother and increased their fear of their father, having learned of the extent of his ability to harm all of them.

However, the visits with their mother were reduced to something akin to small talk between strangers – boring and meaningless – depressing for the strain of wanting to break loose to scream and cry, to seek comfort in their mother’s arms.

Instead, they functioned like robots, internalizing their rage and grievances until they decided they had enough.

The girls were allowed supervised visits with their grandparents for one half hour per grandparent, on major holidays – Thanksgiving and Christmas. The children had to be seen with each grandparent separately, meeting at a diner at some time over a holiday. The court order decreed that their father had authority over visitation and the grandparents could see the children at any time, as directed by the father, which for him meant – never.

Our First Step: Clear the Mother of the Munchausen by Proxy Diagnosis

The FCVFC’s immediate work with the children’s mother was to clear her name of the heinous defamatory statements that accompany the Munchausen by Proxy diagnosis. This diagnosis never, in any manner shape or form applied to the children’s mother, related to her behavior or interactions with the children.

We engaged the reigning expert of the time, Eric Mart, PhD.

Dr. Mart was an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of those referred by courts for his evaluation and reports. We had worked with Eric Mart in another case in which the mother, an MD was accused of being a danger to her children because of the Munchausen by Proxy diagnosis. (That mother was completely exonerated by an action before the Attorney General of Washington State. Her child was returned to her immediately after years of separation during which time the father did nearly succeed in killing his daughter.)

We also had our current client undergo neuropsychological testing as well, to rule out any subcategories of diagnoses that could possibly be a co-syndrome of Munchausen disorder. Our client was well and fully documented as not having, never having, any symptoms of this disorder.

Her issues were consistent with the trauma of losing children in litigation to an abuser and having been maligned and blamed in court for things you never did, said, or thought.

Through these two medical evaluations, our client was fully and completely cleared.

First, that she did not qualify as a Munchausen by Proxy diagnostic candidate.

Second, that she did not exhibit symptoms related to any form of psychopathy or disqualifying personality disorder.

Our Second Step, Go Back to Court

In order to challenge the Eric Frazer fraudulent evaluation, we retained Attorney Alex Schwartz of Connecticut. A clear understanding was written and a retainer was agreed upon, to confront the smear campaign presented by Eric Frazer’s fraudulent psychological evaluation.

The plan was to seek custody reconsideration so that the children could go back to the custody of their mother.

We were also putting in place plans to subsequently sue Eric Frazer for malpractice.

Best Laid Plans

However, that Connecticut attorney, Alex Schwartz, never took any action to take the simple steps that would have cleared the targeted parent. He never filed a simple Motion for Reconsideration based on new evidence.

Alex Schwartz never even called or contacted these professionals, nor did he return their calls when they tried to contact him.

As a result, the mother was not cleared of the heinous allegations against her, and when the children did escape, she was not able to see them, as she would have been in contempt of court.

We did everything to give Alex Schwartz the tools for a successful, meaningful resolution of the case based on new evidence. But he did nothing to assist his client.

As it became clear that he was not going to do his part to help clear his client’s name and help her regain custody of the girls, we planned to file malpractice actions against him based on the violation of his retainer agreement.

However, a sudden new event aborted that plan.

“Live Free or Die”

The very sudden new circumstances involved the arrival of a letter to the FCVFC from the children of my client, children from whom she had been separated for more than five years by that time.

The handwritten letter was accompanied by a video the girls produced from their bedroom in the middle of the night, as I later learned.

The girls stated in our communications that they had a pact, intended to commit suicide together if I did not get them out of their abusive circumstances within a very tight timeline.

After I spoke with each of them, there was no question in my mind as to the sincerity of their message.

I was completely familiar with the circumstances of their lives and all court proceedings, aside from parts that were sealed in juvenile court. I had reviewed thousands of pages of transcripts and filings, conducted interviews with their mother and grandparents, and engaged in personal communications.

The girls relayed material that detailed complaints and accounts of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, humiliation, pulverizing control, and denigration on an extremely intimate, personal level. This clearly indicated to me as a clinician that these girls were absolutely serious and at imminent risk.

The judge had completely dismissed the girls’ complaints and feelings, making it clear – I do not care if your father is sexually abusing you, you are going to have overnight visits with him.

They were called liars; they were insulted and denigrated to their faces.

One particular DCF caseworker, the subject of my numerous direct complaints to every level of DCF, addressed the child who had been cutting herself severely for years: “You are a lying cutter.”

The girls’ agony was expressed in symptoms of acute anxiety and depression. They had been medicated, hospitalized, and placed in “special school programs” for emotionally disturbed children.

One child was seen by a psychiatrist (whom she doubted spoke English) once a month for 10 minutes, the time it took to renew prescriptions.

Their “therapy” consisted of having to meet with “therapists” chosen and supervised by Eric Frazer, the crooked fraud who destroyed their lives, as their father sat outside the door as they met with so called therapist who then met with their father to “discuss their progress.”

The girls were repeatedly informed that if they “told on their father,” disclosed the abuse they were suffering, they would be sent to separate foster homes, outside of Connecticut, and they would never see each other or any members of their family again.

Brilliant children were confined to substandard educations, languishing with truly psychiatrically disturbed children in a psychiatric-day-hospital-like atmosphere.

Court operatives described the children as going to school and doing well.

If the children’s mother had reached out in any manner to assist them, speak with them, or attempted to rescue them, she would have been found in contempt of court.

Given the venomously hostile environment that surrounded her, she knew that if she were to be found in contempt of court, she would be sent to jail.

I was on my own to figure out resources to help the girls escape.

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Part 2 of this article is here.

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