by Cindy Ross © July 8, 2002

In June, CA NOW (National Organization for Women) released "Family Court Report 2002", the product of a three year investigation into complaints regarding CA family law courts. The CA NOW report identifies the California family court system as "crippled, incompetent and corrupt". It includes sections on the history of family law and the so-called "fathers' rights" (FR) movement. Problems identified include gender bias against women, loss of due process, fraud, corruption and the use of bogus "syndromes" to pathologize motherhood. The report can be found at the CA NOW website: Click. to read NOW report.

Family Court 2002 is the most recent of numerous reports, articles and documentaries which describe the systematic abuse of women and children, illegal activity and criminal misconduct occurring in family courts, not only in California, but across the country. Many cases have been identified involving male perpetrators of domestic violence and child molest getting custody, abusive and "deadbeat" fathers getting out of criminal prosecution and child support obligations and women and children being punished in jails and mental institutions. [1]  

The Association of Family and Conciliation Courts is an organization comprised of the court "professionals" who fabricated the phony mental disorder "Parental Alienation Syndrome" (PAS, also called "alienation" or "alienated children"), as the means to turn abuse cases into "custody disputes". Click. AFCC - "Association of Family, Court and Community Professionals" website.

Through appointments of AFCC affiliates, mothers are forced into excessive and abusive court proceedings where they are drained financially and emotionally. They are bullied into submitting to ongoing evaluations, mediation and therapy, so that they will be deemed difficult and uncooperative and therefore unfit to parent their own children. [2]

Originally devised as the means to cover up evidence of child sexual abuse when the father is the perpetrator, the PAS legal strategy calls for the involvement of custody evaluators, attorneys for children, "special masters" (mediators with quasi-judicial authority), supervision monitors and other court-appointees operating in the guise of the family "conciliation court", who collaborate to shift blame to mothers trying to maintain custody and protect their children.

PAS calls for institutionalizing children to convince them that they were not really abused by their fathers, but that their mothers are crazy. [3] Use of PAS has been linked to the death of at least one child, who committed suicide rather than submit to court ordered PAS "threats". [4], [5]

Through illegally crafted orders, phony custody reports and improper "ex-parte" (emergency, unnoticed) proceedings, court appointees rig the outcomes of cases in favor of abusive men. By labeling mothers "alienators", blaming them for denying fathers "access" to the children and prosecuting mothers for "custodial interference" or similar "crimes", the family court works with the District Attorney to criminalize mothers' attempts to escape abuse and protect their children. [6] If the mother flees with the children, the FBI gets involved, treating the matter as "parental abduction" (a federal crime), which is used as further proof that she doesn't deserve to have custody.  

The AFCC has been connected to judicial slush funds, such as the one identified in Los Angeles Superior Court, in several articles in the LA Daily News. [7]  AFCC is cross affiliated with the Children's Rights Council (formerly called the "National Council for Children's Rights"), which is essentially the "umbrella" organization of the "fathers' rights" movement -- a perverse conglomerate of misogynists, anti-Semites and other hateful men -- who are calling for male ownership of women and children, "patriarchy under God" and repealing the 19th Amendment (women's right to vote). [8]

While CRC claims to advocate "shared parenting", in fact, its' agenda is to promote father custody specifically in cases where the father would be deemed an unfit or unsafe parent if legitimate court proceedings had been conducted in accordance with actual domestic violence and "children's best interest" laws. This is primarily to assist men with getting out of child support obligations, so that money intended for care of the children (including funds the court receives from federal Child Support Enforcement Program grants) is siphoned off by and through the AFCC affiliates who were appointed to coordinate the fund diversion scheme.

AFCC/CRC officials conceal the fact that many of their "experts" are pedophiles and others who promote incest and deviant sex. These people include Richard Gardner, who coined the term PAS, John Money, a sexologist affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, Ralph Underwager and Hollida Wakefield of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation and Warren Farrell, a political scientist who advocates "family sex" and "genitally caressing children" in the Penthouse article "Incest, the Last Taboo" (1977). [9]

The National Alliance for Family Court Justice -- founded and directed nationally by Elisabeth (Liz) Richards of Virginia -- is an international organization of grassroots activists addressing family court system failure, corruption and retaliation against women who report abuse. NAFCJ has identified and documented evidence that PAS not only is the means to conceal a pro-pedophile agenda disguised as "custody resolution", it is the basis of a court kickback scheme that calls for the misuse/diversion of federal grants, primarily Access to Visitation Enforcement, Child Support Enforcement, Responsible Fatherhood and Temporary Assistance to Needy Family (TANF) Welfare program funds.

CRC and AFCC, working directly with people like Richard Gardner, crafted PAS into the means of obtaining funding to turn the Access to Visitation Enforcement Program (AV) into a "fatherhood" program, whereby any father can get custody and any mother reporting abuse can be placed on supervision to silence her. Click. Children's Rights Council 12th National Conference, "How to obtain Access/Visitation Grants"

NAFCJ has obtained program documents from the Department of Health and Human Services that prove that federal "Responsible Fatherhood" programs use TANF/Welfare funds to recruit abusive men -- including incarcerated criminals -- into programs that assist them with getting custody by providing free legal services from contracted attorneys and mediators and rewarding them child support abatement and other benefits.

After they get custody, fathers continue to receive assistance from the family court and child support enforcement officials (usually either the state's Attorney General or the county's District Attorney Family Support Division), in preventing the mother's access to the children, placing her on supervised visitation for complaining and/or forcing her to pay child support to him.  

When Family Court Report 2002 was released, David Levy, president of CRC, called it a "preposterous charge". [10] However, according to Liz Richards, Virginia Delegate Jim Dillard is asking for an investigation into CRC. It is my understanding that Del. Dillard was originally a supporter of CRC, until he reviewed evidence provided to him by NAFCJ, regarding CRC's role in federal program fraud and covering up for a pro-pedophile agenda. (Due to the 4th of July holiday, I was unable to contact Del. Dillard directly.)

The request for investigation into CRC is significant regarding the CA court system, especially Marin County Superior Court. While CRC is based in Maryland, one of its' founding officials is Joan Kelly. Kelly, former director of the Northern CA Mediation Center in Marin County, co-authored "Surviving the Breakup", with Judith Wallerstein, founder of the Center for the Family in Transition (also in Marin County). Kelly and Wallerstein are the "experts" upon whose "research" Richard Gardner based the PAS "theory". [11]

Largely due to Kelly's and Wallerstein's, influence, PAS methodology has become entrenched into federal programs, policy and funding, especially through CRC. According to the CA NOW report (p. 49), in 1986 Wallerstein provided testimony, along with David Levy, as to the "problems of single female parent families" in a hearing entitled "Divorce, the Impact on Children and Families", held in the House committee on Children, Youth and Families.  

Wallerstein serves as an advisor to the National Fatherhood Initiative. NFI founding officials include Wade Horn, Assistant Secretary for Children and Families in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Don Eberly of the White House Office of Faith Based Initiatives.

Kelly sets up PAS programs in courts around the country, using federal AV Program funds. She gives seminars in PAS and trains special masters. The affiliates of Kelly's and Wallerstein's respective Marin County organizations, Northern CA Mediation Center and Center for the Family in Transition, have reformulated their group into the "Northern CA Task Force on the Alienated Child". "Task Force" members are identified as "getting it wrong" in UC Davis law professor Carol Bruch's article in the Family Law Quarterly (Sept. 2001), "Parental Alienation Syndrome and Parental Alienation": Getting it wrong in child custody cases." [12] The "Task Force" also includes the custody evaluators and special masters identified as engaging in misconduct in the February 2000 report by NY investigative reporter Karen Winner ("Findings on Judge Michael Dufficy, Commissioner Sylvia Shapiro and Court-Appointees in Marin County Superior Court in California.")\

Addressing court corruption specifically from the perspective of Marin County Superior Court would take up volumes and is outside the scope of this article. For more information about Marin County, Click. "Marin County Court Corruption Data Dump"

However, as I have documentation from my own case (included in the Winner Report) showing how Marin County "FLEA" (Family Law Elite Attorney) Mary Halbert diverted child support intended for my son, working with "Task Force" member Nancy Olesen, who wrote some kind of report that I was prevented from seeing; And since Mary was paid out of the "alternate public defender's" budget and Marin County Public Defender Joe Spaeth is one of the people on the Judicial Council committee that disperses AV and other grants to the courts, I may very well decide to do a follow-up piece on Marin County.

I would also like to direct a question to Marin court administrator John Montgomery regarding his comment to the Independent Journal that the CA NOW report " a shoddy piece of work that would not pass a college research class". Click. Marin IJ - Report: Family Court System Needs Repair. If the problems the CA NOW report and others have identified don't really exist, why is it that YOUR name and fingerprint appear instead of my own on the transfer deed to my home, that was taken from me illegally through an ex parte hearing which I did not even attend?

For further information about NAFCJ and our ongoing effort to expose and put an end to family court corruption, please visit the NAFCJ Click.  

by Cindy Ross California © July 8, 2002
Director National Alliance for Family Court Justice Fairfax, CA


[1]. Articles/reports:" Hand of Justice, Pacific Sun, October 2001 (Marin County CA) SF Weekly |(Odor in the Court, re: Marin County Judge Dufficy) Or link: Click. A Little Girls Hell (Southern CA)

Click. News&features - March 21, 2002,  (Mothers Interrupted, Sacramento, CA)

Click. Disputed theory used in custody cases: Children often victims in Parental Alienation Syndrome strategy Small Justice (Garland Waller's documentary, re: VA cases) Custody reports provoke dispute (Charlotte, NC) PAS (Leadership Council, Dr. Paul Fink)


[3]'s%20Truth.htm LETTING CHILDREN SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES by Alanna Krause, daughter of former Marin County Bar Association president Marshall Krause)

[4] Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - Casualties of a Custody War - What's best for the child?


[6] Mothers who have been criminally prosecuted and/or jailed a la PAS:

Debra Schmidt (CA): : Mom Will Not Let Kids See Sex Offender Dad : Calif., Texas in Federal Extradition Fight

Carol Marduesz:

Marin Count (CA) Paula Oldham (CA):

ClairCharMasa.htm (scroll all the way down) and

Vicki Shaffer (NY):

Mary Lou French (HI) Judge: Law guardian must testify:"  and

Wendy Titelman (GA):

[7] Articles from the LA Daily News:  Lawsuit challenges judges' private 'coffee, flowers' fund Inquiry urged of judges' fund.  Judges' fund criticized in audit

[8] "Fathers' Rights"/Fathers' Manifesto: Joint Custody, Battered Men, False Allegations, Father's Rights Activists: IN THEIR OWN WORDS;svc=northsky;site=;chan=religion;kw=;syn=about;pos=slot1;sz=468x60;ord=200490 Welcome to The Official Fathers' Manifesto World Wide Web Site Petition to Repeal the Nineteenth Amendment here: Surveys From the FATHERS' MANIFESTO

[9]  Pro-pedophile/incest "experts" affiliated with CRC/AFCC Richard Gardner: PAS2  IPT Journal - "A Theory About the Variety of Human Sexual Behavior" (Gardner's article at Underwager's website)

John Money: The Case of John/Joan

Warren Farrell: WARREN FARRELL

[10] Articles about Family Court Report 2002: NOW says family court corrupt, harms children (LA Daily News) NOW report lashes out at family court system (Pasadena Star News) Marin IJ - Report: Family court system needs repair (Marin IJ)

[11] Mediation and Parental Alienation Syndrome by Anita Vestal

[12] and