Cellucci leads divorce assault on families

By Eugene Narrett, MetroWest Daily News

June 10, 1999

The May 27 plea-bargain of Stephen Fagan briefly put family court bias in the news but a more informative event was mostly ignored. On Tuesday May 18, more than a hundred parents came to the Statehouse to testify before the Judiciary Committee about the routine abuse of GL209A "restraining orders." Having prepared for months, at five p.m. a few of them were given a little time to tell how their lives had been destroyed by judicial contempt and cruelty. Response so far indicates that Governor Celluci intends to expand the 209A war on due process thus harming tens of thousands more children by encouraging the courts to destroy their ties to their fathers.

Writing in Woman's Quarterly (Winter 1999), Professor Stephen Baskerville of Howard University describes a typical restraining order case. A man comes home to find the locks changed and his belongings in the street. He can't see his children. If he doesn't leave soon, the police will take him away. He will likely find his bank account emptied out. "With the exception of convicted criminals, no one today has fewer rights than fathers," Baskerville writes. "Feminist vilification in the media and the machinations of lawyers have left fathers helpless against confiscation of their children." Kidnapping, fraud and theft fuel today's legal system.

Reverend Harry Stewart was one of those who testified on May 18. He faces ten years in jail for the following "crimes." Helping his five-year old son open a door to an apartment building so he could ring the bell. Getting out of his car to greet his children when he picked them up at school. Helping his son lift a package out of the car after a visit. Leaving Christmas presents for his children fifty feet from his former home.

The Norfolk County bureaucrats and state politicians who want to put Rev. Stewart away and deprive his children of their father often pontificate about compassion and caring. Celluci's Secretary of Public Safety (so called), Jane Perlov wants restraining orders made tougher and even easier to get, perhaps flowing like tap water. A woman can get one without any evidence of violence, past or present, merely a claim of being "in fear" that abuse might occur in future. Perlov pretends 209A's are not mis-used.

"She doesn't have a clue," commented Stewart's lawyer, Phyllis Field. "She should follow me through the courts. These are not isolated cases."

Crippling children by destroying their relationships with their fathers is big business for lawyers, judges, psychologists and social workers. Dr. Abigail Maxton testified that restraining orders often are used to compel a father to enter or continue "therapy" or his children can't see him. Divorce Lawyers counsel women to abrogate father-child visits by getting the court to appoint psychologists to "investigate personal issues." Judges gladly go

Late in May, a New Hampshire man got news that breaks on many dads today: his son had been operated on (a non-emergency, elective procedure) without his knowledge or consent. The boy didn't know why his dad wasn't there so his father sent him a note explaining, "I'm still your father but can't be the Dad who was created by God, taught by his parents, recognized by his government and respected by community. I was always there when you needed me
and even when you didn't. I could take you and your brother fishing, camping and swimming, help you with your homework every night. One of your hugs could heal my worst day at work. Now I'm just a check, a visitor created by state law, no longer contacted by those who teach you or give you medicines. I can't give you the answers you seek every day…but inside I'm still the same."

Professor Baskerville noted the phony statistics about "dead beat dads" and how they are used to justify "mass incarcerations without charge, trial or counsel, while the media and civil libertarians look the other way." The ACLU has betrayed its mission letting this carnage proceed. "The Attorney General, Cabinet Secretaries, leading politicians in both parties publicly vilify fathers who have been convicted of nothing and have no ability to reply," he writes. "The smug self-righteousness of judges, lawyers and child support bureaucrats rubs salt in the wounds of fathers bereft their children."

Paul Celluci need not end his public service in disgrace, adding to this damage. He and your state Rep can support H3504, a bill that would return due process to 209A and divorce law. Call them today and tell them to support it. And speak up every time you hear some one vilifying men; show for children and fathers

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