FALSELY ACCUSED OF CHILD ABUSE
Copyright © 1997 By Ray Thomas, Updated 2007
THIS REPORT IS A SELF DEFENSE MANUAL FOR THE INNOCENT
This is written for those who are innocent of child abuse. For whom no real proof exists that they are, indeed, child abusers. This report is designed to be a self-defense manual to help you resist the baying hounds of CPS and force them to abide by the law and the Constitution in dealing with you. I'll tell you about many of the scams, schemes and cons they use to get you to give them permission to ignore your Constitutional rights, the patterns that you will find in their treatment of you and your children in their efforts to twist your every word and action to show guilt where none exists. I'll also give you a (partial) list of the things they use to judge abuse, and some tips for your use in resisting their scams. It is hoped that if you are forewarned, you will be better able to stop them from raping you and your family the way they do about 80% of the others who are accused of child abuse.
IF YOU'RE GUILTY, STOP READING NOW
But if you're guilty--and if you are, you know it--you might as well stop reading right here because this report will not help you avoid what is rightfully coming. No one hates a child abuser, particularly a child sexual abuser more than I do, and those who are guilty of it deserve what they get. But I still want those accused of child abuse, even the guilty, to get the same rights that are offered to murderers and other criminals, major or minor. That they be allowed to confront their accusers and be able to sue them for damages if they lie in their charges (One good description of a CPS snitch line is this: a 911 service that cannot distinguish between life-threatening crimes and littering). That child abuse, sexual or otherwise, be proved in a court of law beyond reasonable doubt before any action can be taken other than possibly the temporary removal of the children (only if there is ample evidence that abuse is actually taking place and the child is in real danger if left in the home).
And even in this case, I want the parent to have the right to an immediate hearing (and not a rubber stamp hearing to legalize kidnapping, which is how it is as this is written) to determine if the charges are real or simply the result of someone's personal opinion, not backed up by any real evidence (with postponements kept to a minimum by court order, and no unsupervised questioning sessions allowed with the children at any time). That all questions of guilt be decided on the innocent until proven guilty standard used in all other courts, as directed by the Constitution. In short: I want the same rights granted to CPS victims as are granted to a rapist or a murderer. That's it. No bias here in favor of the molester, as CPS would have you believe. But a definite bias in favor of everybody concerned obeying the law of the land and the Constitution.
Last, and maybe most important, I want the practice of billing the victims for the cost of foster care in cases where they've been proven innocent to be stopped. This practice adds insult to injury, and allows CPS to collect money for expenses incurred when they violate people's Constitutional rights. To force victims to pay the victimizers for the cost of the victimization is an abomination. Worse yet, they're getting laws passed in all states to create a database of deadbeat parents so they can permanently stigmatize those who refuse to pay this ransom by designating this money as legitimate child support. They even want to be able to keep such people from getting any kind of license, from driver's licenses to professional licenses, and be able to take such licenses they do have away as well, all on the "bureaucratic designation" that they are a deadbeat parent--for refusal to pay the cost of their victimization.
HUGE UPSURGE IN FALSE CHILD ABUSE REPORTS
Under the watchwords "the best interests of the child," 130,000 kids are taken from their parents each year by a system geared to act first and ask questions later. However, two-thirds of the 2.2 million reports of child maltreatment in 1986 turned out to be unfounded. And of the substantiated reports, only 15 percent involved any serious risk to the child's safety, according to Douglas Besharov, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and first director of the National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect. "It's this 15 percent," he concluded, "that need the kind of intervention the Krachts received but Lisa Steinberg didn't: immediate removal from the home. [The Krachts represent a well-documented case of false accusation of child abuse and Lisa Steinberg was killed when she was not removed from the home. -RT] An atmosphere of well-justified concern for maltreated children has bred a monster that can traumatize both parents and kids, trampling their rights to a parent-child relationship."
Dan Zegart wrote this in 1989, in an article in Ms. Magazine. But the figures are much higher today, mostly because of the incessant drumbeat of stories in the press instigated by power seekers in our government who wish to use the children in their quest to dominate the rest of us. People today are more aware than ever of just how easy it is to "lead Child Protective Services around by the nose" in falsely reporting child abuse. All it takes is an anonymous call to one of their many snitch lines to set the (CPS) hounds baying after both innocent and guilty people, and they don't bother to make a distinction, in most cases. "If you're reported, you must be guilty" in their lexicon. Prosecutors use child abuse cases as an easy route to higher office, since it's much easier to convict someone of child abuse than of murder. The "standards of proof" are much lower. And they can easily trump up charges against their critics, since all it takes is the charge for CPS to start "baying after them."
GOOD SAMARITAN LAWS
Child abuse has in recent years taken on a witch hunt atmosphere wherein all it takes is a simple anonymous telephone report to start the nightmare, both for innocent parents and their children. Good Samaritan laws (for the most part) completely protect everybody from retaliation even if they lied in their report for an ulterior motive. The same laws force health and child care professionals (anyone who deals regularly with children professionally) to report any suspicion of abuse to the children in their care. If they don't, they face penalties which could range from reprimand to the loss of their license and financial ruin, even charges being filed against them. Even the children know how easy it is to nullify their parents by charging them with child abuse. They're taught that in school. But what they don't know is what such charges are going to mean for themselves, when they're ripped from their families and placed in foster care where, figures prove, they are much more apt to be abused.
There is a well-documented anti-family bias in the child protection industry and when CPS workers go after you, you are deemed guilty as soon as you're reported. Never mind the proof. The fact that 60%-80% of child abuse charges today are unsubstantiated seems to be lost on them. They think they're right, and they won't hear otherwise.
Here I must say that I don't believe every child protection worker to be a monster. There are many well-meaning, but unfortunately ill-trained individuals there who really want to do good. Unfortunately, they, themselves, have been brainwashed into believing that all parents are potential child-abusers and that they do not harm the children (they do) by taking them from the home. A large percentage of them however, are paranoid, and see sex offenders under every bed (or on top). Many are in the business only because they were themselves in the foster care system and many were abused there. They see a child sex offender in a man who changes his daughter's diapers and while doing so, touches her privates. They see an abuser with every whack on the backside. Those people are sick.
MAKING A GOOD LIVING ON THE BACKS OF THE CHILDREN
"It's time we started to recognize the self-serving nature of the various abuse crusades that get launched with ever-increasing regularity by that coalition of groups in our society: social workers, therapists, the media, the courts, the shelters, etc., which make their livings by exploiting, and oftentimes creating, family pathology." This is a quote from Fidelity, February, 1985, page 33, on the "cottage industry" that has sprung up around child abuse, whose very reason for being is to make the problem more severe so as to enhance their bottom line at the expense of the family. The article further said: "It's time to stop the funding of parasites who make their living by creating problems for themselves to solve. Those professionals who would become surrogate parents in the name of concern for the children do nothing more than guarantee future business for the therapeutic state. By attacking the family they create, willingly or not, a nation of patients ready to seek them out for treatment (And if CPS has its way, are forced to seek them out for treatment.)."
REASONABLE EFFORTS TO KEEP FAMILIES TOGETHER
The federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980 requires that reasonable efforts be made to keep families together and that only children in real danger of maltreatment be placed in foster care. But, according to Mary Lee Allen, director of child welfare and mental health for the Children's Defense Fund, there is considerable gap between theory and practice. In other words, they tell you they're interested in keeping the kids at home, but are much more quick to take them than to leave them at home in almost all cases, because that's where the money--and the power--is.
CHILD PROTECTIVE SERVICES ARE TOO QUICK TO BELIEVE ABUSE
It has become a common theme for a spouse to accuse the other spouse of child abuse or child sexual abuse in order to gain an advantage in a divorce case. In fact, attorneys routinely advise them to do so, true or not. And this is not just in contested divorces. In many cases, both spouses are accusing each other of child abuse. In most cases it's: "Lord forgive them for they know not what they do," because once the CPS thugs get their hands on the kids, they just don't want to give them up. They use every lying, deceitful trick in the book to keep them. They've been known, in many cases, to push for adoption for the children, even in cases where abuse cannot be proven. Neither parent then has any rights, even the one whose lies got it all started. False child abuse charges have become a valuable tool to be used in other conflicts as well, such as landlord-tenant disputes and even in auto accidents. It has become known as an easy way to hurt your opponent without cost to yourself. CPS willingly hurts them for you and you are completely protected from any but unlawful retaliation. I predict it will become a useful tool in many other areas in the future, too.
Another common theme is for CPS people to come in on a case where the parents have found evidence that someone else has abused one or more of their children, and they immediately accuse the parents. Then they proceed as if the parents were guilty. One famous story involved a couple whose child was the subject of flashing by a man who broke into her bedroom. CPS charged the father with it. They demanded he leave the home before the child could be returned, even though they couldn't make a case in court. They were ready to go for revocation of parental authority in preparation to put the child up for adoption when the father caught the man breaking into the same window and apprehended him. The man was convicted of being the perpetrator both times. CPS was unmoved. They continued their quest until the judge ordered the child returned. Then they attempted to collect money for foster care.
CHILD ABUSE LAWS ARE SUBJECTIVE, NOT OBJECTIVE
Subjectivism insists that there are no absolutes, while Objectivism insists that there are. The hilarious thing about it is that both are making statemets of an absolute when they insist on their opposing philosophies. This doesn't hurt the Objectivists, because they not only admit the existence of absolutes, it is a basic part of their philosophy. But the fact that the subjectivists' very statement of principles negates not only their statement, but their entire philosophy as well, infuriates them, since their philosophy is a simple mechanism which, if accepted, relieves them of all responsibility and allows them to decide for themselves what laws mean. This gives them a lot of power and that's what they want. Subjectivism is a philosophy most bureaucrats adhere to (whether they know it or not) because it's a valuable tool for them.
Child abuse laws tend to be subjective because that gives the CPS workers license to decide for themselves just what constitutes abuse in all cases. That means they can make a dirty sock on the floor, or even the fact that a parent is a smoker into a full-blown abuse case at their whim. The courts back them up because the standard of evidence allowed in family court is not the same as in criminal court. In criminal court, the accused must be proven guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. In family court, the standard is simply by a preponderance of evidence. Hearsay evidence, the subjective judgement and the opinion of the CPS people are given much more weight than that of the defendant. The cards, in other words, are well and truly stacked in favor of CPS.
YOU'RE NEVER INNOCENT
If they can't prove you're guilty and if the court acquits you of abuse, their opinion is this: "Just because we couldn't prove it does not make you innocent. This 'not guilty' verdict only means we couldn't come up with enough evidence to prove your guilt." In other words, you have been guilty since they first accused you, because they accused you, and even though the court has not convicted you, you are still guilty. You just can't win with these people.
Every bureaucracy has patterns in their operations. If you can figure out what these patterns are, you're a lot closer to beating them than if you're ignorant of them. Let's look at some of the patterns used by child protective services workers:
- They'll twist everything you say or do to indicate your guilt: If you refuse to let them in without a warrant, you've got something to hide. If you insist on your constitutional rights, that's an indication of guilt. If you refuse to say anything without your lawyer present, that's another indication of guilt. In fact, just about anything you can do or say indicates your guilt in their minds. That's a major pattern. The judge may not buy it, but then, he might. They often do. Many buy it because they're expected to buy it.
- You're guilty: We've already noted one of their patterns. You're automatically guilty if they or someone else accuses you. Anything you do from that point on is evidence of guilt. They go in with a bias, since they are taught that every parent is a potential child abuser. Then it's just a short step to do whatever they have to do to establish the parent's guilt, including intimidation, lies, deceit, and even violation of their constitutional rights.
- Your protestations of innocence are an indication of guilt: When you're accused of anything, your first inclination is to claim your innocence. This is human nature, and in real life, has nothing to do with your guilt or innocence. But with CPS workers, the very fact that you protest your innocence is, to them, evidence of your guilt. This is one of the basic things they're taught when they are training to become CPS workers. They've even got a clinical-sounding term for it: you're "in denial."
- Anger is an indication of guilt: If you get angry when they accuse you, that's an indication of guilt. Never mind that accusations such as this would make a monk angry. Never mind that their supercilious, officious attitude is guaranteed to make you angry even if you're innocent. To get angry means, to them, you're guilty.
- Threaten to throw them out if they don't leave and you're guilty: Many times, they intimidate their way into your home or just con their way in. Then, when they make it evident that they're collecting evidence of your guilt, and you ask them to leave, they insist that your request itself is an indication of guilt and make no effort to leave. Then when you order them out, and tell them that if they don't leave, you'll throw them out, it goes in their report. Now you're marked down as "potentially violent." Don't threaten. Just tell them to leave and don't say another word even if they try to get you to talk. Silence is one of the most powerful pressures there is, and it is non-violent. An attitude of standing still with your arms folded might help.
- Intimidation in place of a warrant: In most cases, the fact that they have no warrant, and are bound by the same constitutional restrictions as are police means nothing to them. They are trained to use every con and scam there is to gain entry to your home without it. Once in, they use just about anything they see as evidence of child abuse. If there are dirty dishes in the sink, or if the child has a skinned knee from a normal childhood fall, you're an abuser. Anything they see can be twisted into "evidence of abuse," and they're well trained to do the twisting. The list of things that can be used to establish child abuse is long, and completely subjective (see above for definition of subjective). They can twist just about anything to prove abuse to the point where they can snatch your kids and force you to ransom them by your actions, and with your money.
- Lies and deceit: They think nothing of telling you lies to gain entry into your home, and of using intimidation to convince you to sign papers that allow them to do things that the Constitution prevents. Once you've signed those papers, you've given up those rights. Never sign papers they demand you sign, even if they tell you that you must, without advice from (your own) attorney. And don't let them recommend an attorney. Never believe anything a CPS worker tells you because they're probably lying. They're trained to lie in order to get around constitutional restrictions. It's a sorry thing to have to say, but it's true. And it's something basic that you must remember in order to deal with them.
- They impose their own values on their "clients": In one case of which I have personal knowledge, the father attempted to deal with a tantrum during a supervised visit by ignoring the child and letting him cry. The social worker jumped in and told him he should cuddle the child. The fact that he refused to do so was put in his file and used against him later. That the foster parent agreed with the father didn't seem to make any difference.
- Demands that you or your children undergo counseling: One of their best-known cons, and the most lucrative for all involved, is to force people accused (not convicted) of child abuse to undergo "counseling" as a means to get the charges dropped. They also demand you sign papers allowing them to put your children through counseling ("to help straighten out this situation, don'tcha know?") Don't buy it. The counseling sessions are little more than "star-chamber" questioning sessions to get the kids to say something--anything--against you, while getting you (or the government) to pay the bill. Many of their counselors have few, if any clients other than those referred by CPS agencies, and they know which side of their bread carries the butter. Counseling parents and children in child abuse cases is a lucrative cottage industry (One "patient" can be worth $10,000 to a "counselor" if they find abuse. If they find the wrong way they'll be taken off the list). Some even kick back part of their fees to workers who refer a lot of business their way. [It's a way for the worker to make some money, right? -RT]
- Intensive (star-chamber) long-term questioning of children: They have undisputed custody of your children after they snatch them from you, and you don't know what they're doing to them. You can't even ask. In most cases, they take them regularly to sessions where they constantly subject them to questioning. They call it "counseling." They ask questions such as: When your daddy put his hand on your penis (or vagina), did he rub it? Did it feel good? (It's like a salesman's closing question: any answer indicates your guilt.) Children just aren't prepared to resist such expert questioning, and will eventually give an answer that can be used against the parent. These are questions small children shouldn't even be aware of, let alone be asked by strangers. They describe sex acts the kids had never even heard of, and teach them to be sexually aware. (Never mind that a child being sexually aware is an indication of child abuse. Just who is abusing them, anyway?). They take them to hospitals and clinics and subject these frightened, impressionable children to strip-searches in order to humiliate and frighten them further. Where actual sexual abuse is practiced upon them (in one case a female doctor proudly described the fact that she actually stuck her finger into a child's vagina and asked if the suspect put his in this far).
In some cases, they subject them to "medical procedures" such as penile plethysmography, in which penis-shaped sensors are inserted into the girl's vagina or a ring is placed around a boy's penis while showing them government-created pornography. This is done to "learn what turns them on" [See my Comprehensive Report, "Target: Your Children" for more complete information on this, or the book, "Out of Control: Who is Watching Our Child Protection Agencies?" By Brenda Scott, available from most VOCAL groups or can be ordered by most bookstores -RT]. They continue this for months, even years, suggesting things that you might have done to them time after time, until finally the kids wear down and start telling them what they think they want to hear, just to make it stop. Then they immediately videotape the child saying those things and use it in court, in an attempt to bring criminal charges against the parent. Sometimes they just "testify" to what the child has supposedly said and the courts routinely admit this hearsay "testimony."
They tell them such things as: "If you say they did something to you, they'll get off a lot easier. They'll just have to take a few parenting classes, and you can go home. But if you don't, they may have to go to jail for a long time and you won't ever be able to go home." If you were an impressionable young child, told something like this by an all-powerful government agent, what would you do? Remain silent while your parents go to jail or make something up to make it easier on them? When they question the parents, they tell them things like: "If you admit your guilt, you'll get your child back immediately and you'll only have to go to a few parenting classes. But if you stick to your story, you could lose her for 6 months, or permanently." (Women's Day, May 6, 1986, page 42)
- Strip-search the child: These strip searches are outside of those done in the clinical atmosphere when someone is accused. In these, they come to the child's school, without parent's knowledge or consent. They strip and fondle these small, frightened children by force, and ask them sexual questions. Their excuse here is that they are searching for signs of sexual or child abuse (without any kind of probable cause, they go on a fishing expedition.) But part of the reason for doing this is to subject the child to the indignity of such a search, and the attendant manipulation of their genitals, as part of the breaking them down process to get them to accuse their parents. In some places this gets them (CPS) in trouble. In others, not: such as the Texas case in which a judge ruled that "when you drop your kids off at school, you give up all rights to control what happens to them there." This judge is obviously constitutionally ignorant, and dangerous. There's another reason why some workers do this: some of them are latent pedophiles themselves. What better way to get to fondle children's genitals, or watch while someone else does so, (without worrying about criminal charges) than to be the one who would file those charges in the first place?
- Use an existing medical problem to prove abuse: In the Robin and Bob Johnson case in 1985, (Woman's Day, May 6, 1986, page 30) they forced their way into the Johnson's house without a warrant and took the child based on a single report by a physician in a hospital (who was afraid that if he didn't report it, he would be in trouble, but who would be protected from all [legal] repercussions [by the "Good Samaritan" Laws -RT] if he did) that the child had a vaginal discharge due to Gardnerella vaginalis, which he thought could be sexually transmitted. The county's special doctor (who earned $10,000.00 a month or more doing such work for the county) agreed, and further said he found that the girl had a dilated hymeneal ring.
A second lab found otherwise. That it was not Gardnerella vaginalis, but in fact was Hemophilus influenza, a common bacterium for which there is no evidence of sexual transmission. (The original lab was already under suspicion for sloppy lab practices, and their findings should not be given the weight of evidence, especially in the light of the other findings.) In addition, five other physicians disagreed with the county-paid doctor's dilated hymeneal ring finding. In spite of this evidence, CPS pursued the Johnson case to the bitter end. Even when ordered to return the children by the court, they dragged their feet and even then kept the Johnsons listed in the state child abuser database.
- Use plea bargain offers to get people to testify against each other and plead guilty even when they're innocent: In the Jordan, Minnesota sex ring case, (Fidelity, February, 1985, page 30) which was, as usual, based solely on the unsupported word of children who had been questioned over long periods of time, defendant Robert Bentz said that after significantly increasing the number of (unprovable) charges against him, prosecutor Kathleen Morris offered to dismiss most of them and reduce his possible forty-year prison sentence to ten. Then no jail, just treatment, then all charges dropped if he and his wife would just testify against others in the case. At that time, all they had was the unsupported word of intimidated children, and they needed some adult testimony. Extorting it from others who are under false charges is their way of getting it.
- Retaliate by billing successful former victims for foster care costs: When you win, you're still not home free because they commonly bill their victims for the cost of their victimization. This allows them to thumb their noses at those who have beaten them. (See deadbeat parent laws, elsewhere in this report.)
- Trump-up charges against their critics: Woe unto you if you dare to criticize what they're doing in any way. They'll find something to charge you with, even if they can't prove it. Such charges have a way of discrediting people who are hurting their cause so they're common. I expect them to trump up some charges against me one of these days, because I intend to severely hurt their cause. I hope they do so I can hurt it some more.
PUNISH THEM OR DON'T PUNISH THEM AND YOU'RE WRONG
Child Protection authorities go out of their way to stop parents from punishing their children in any effective way, then they make laws punishing the parents when those children get into trouble. The children learn quickly, too. In many cases, children who report child abuse are doing so in order to flout parental authority. In the Paul and Jenny Kracht case (Ms. Magazine, June, 1989, page 78), the child who made the charge had warned his father on several occasions that if he made him go to school, he'd be sorry. Well, he's sorry now. And so is his son, who didn't know what kind of a buzzsaw he was turning loose on his family.
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