PBS Portrays Known Child Abuser as Hero:
Juvenile Court, CPS, Family Court Records Detail Mother's Physical Abuse
Sadia Loeliger, one of the central characters in Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories, is portrayed by the filmmakers as a heroic mom. The filmmakers spotlight and applaud her fight to gain custody of her daughter Fatima, who is also featured.
After the film's debut I was contacted by Dr. Scott Loeliger, Sadia's ex-husband, and we are now revealing, for the first time publicly, Sadia's long, documented history of child abuse--a history which the film's producers chose to ignore despite repeated warnings.
We are launching Round 2 of our campaign against Breaking the Silence today--read the shocking Loeliger revelations here and then return to this E-newsletter for instructions on how you can participate.
Round 2 of the Campaign Begins
To date, we have generated over 4,000 calls and letters to PBS protesting Breaking the Silence. Round 2 begins now--I want all of you to join our campaign by clicking here.
There have been many indications, some of which I am not at liberty to discuss, that our protests have concerned PBS. The film, which aired on some PBS affiliates on October 20 and will air on many others in the coming weeks, is a direct assault on fatherhood. The film portrays fathers as batterers and child molesters who steal children from their mothers. We want PBS to allow both sides of this issue to be heard.
Again, I want all of you to join our campaign by clicking here.
Our Side Gets Chance to Speak on Houston PBS
To its credit, Houston PBS followed through on its commitment to allow our side to air its view of Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories and Parental Alienation Syndrome on its round-table discussion show The Connection on Friday, October 28 at 8 PM CST and again on Sunday, October 30 at 5 PM CST.
The show featured Dr. Reena Sommer, an expert on Parental Alienation Syndrome, as well as Andy Sperling, director of Fathers for Equal Rights in Houston. The opposition was represented by Thomas H. Burton III, General Counsel for the nonprofit organization Justice for Children.
Burton labeled Parental Alienation Syndrome "junk science" and his group's website calls claims of PAS an "unethical, immoral" tactic.
According to Barbara Sweet of Help Stop PAS Inc, our side's points came across loud and clear.
Thanks to Sweet, who has done a lot of good work on this issue, as well as to Sommer and Sperling.
Also, I suggest you commend Ken Lawrence, the Director of Programming for PBS of Houston, for his evenhandedness--to write him, click here.
To read a more detailed description of the Houston broadcast, click here.
I'm disappointed and a little surprised at the position Justice for Children is taking on PAS. I had one of their leaders, Donnalee Sarda, on His Side with Glenn Sacks earlier this year, and while Donna and I certainly don't see eye to eye on everything, she seems much more reasonable than what is posted on their website.
I receive a steady stream of letters from target parents of PAS, and I told some of the stories I was able to investigate in the first part of my co-authored column PBS Declares War on Dads (World Net Daily, 10/20/05). To deny that alienation exists, or that children can buy into the alienation and align themselves with the alienating parent against the target parent, seems to me to be an intellectually untenable position.
However, this is certainly not to say that claims of PAS are not misused--in my co-authored column PBS' Breaking the Silence: Family Law in the Funhouse Mirror (Albany Times Union, 10/20/05, Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, 10/24/05) I noted:
"To be fair, it is true that there are fathers who have alienated their own children through their abuse or personality defects, and who unfairly blame their children's mothers by claiming PAS. Yet parental alienation is a common, well-documented phenomenon. For example, a longitudinal study published by the American Bar Association in 2003 followed 700 'high conflict' divorce cases over a 12 year period, and found that elements of PAS were present in the vast majority of them."
To hear Sommer and Judy Jones of Help Stop PAS Inc on His Side, see The Lohstroh Case: Alienating Mother Pushes 10 Year-Old Boy to Kill Father (10/31/04).
Sacks Discusses PBS Campaign on NPR's CrossTalk (11/1/05)
More News on Breaking the Silence Protests
Sacks Discusses PBS Campaign on 700 WLW in Cincinnati (11/1/05)
Judge Featured in Breaking the Silence Attacks Sacks in LA Newspaper
Jeff Leving & Glenn Sacks--"Film Goes Too Far as Advocate for Cutting Fathers Off From Kids"No Justice for Dads/Dads Protest Too Much
(Los Angeles Daily Journal, San Francisco Daily Journal, 11/1/05)
(Norfolk Virginian Pilot, 10/31/05)
Documentary failed to show the system also victimizes men
(Albany Times Union, 10/29/05)
New documentary shines light on bitter custody fights, draws fire from fathers
(Sacramento News & Review, 10/27/05)
Columnist: PBS Film Unfairly Represents Fatherhood
(Agape Press, 10/27/05)
PBS Documentary Has Fathers Seething
(Family News In Focus, 10/26/05)
Mental Health Professionals Condemn PBS's Breaking the Silence, Endorse Campaign
Last E-newsletter we announced that the American Psychological Association Says Breaking the Silence Misrepresents Its Position on PAS. Over two dozen mental health professionals have now endorsed our campaign. To read their statement, click here.
Breaking the Silence: More Credibility Problems
American Psychological Association Says Breaking the Silence Misrepresents Its Position on PAS
A spokeswoman for the American Psychological Association says that PBS's new documentary Breaking the Silence: Children's Stories distorts the APA's position on Parental Alienation Syndrome. The film criticizes PAS, which arises when one parent tries to turn his or her children against the other parent during a divorce or separation.
In the documentary Joan Meier, a professor of clinical law at George Washington University and one of the film's chief spokespersons, states that PAS "has been thoroughly debunked by the American Psychological Association." Connecticut Public Television, one of the film's producers, put out a press release promoting the film which stated that PAS had been "discredited by the American Psychological Association."
However, according to Rhea K. Farberman, Executive Director of Public and Member Communications of the American Psychological Association, these claims are "incorrect" and "inaccurate." Farberman says that the APA "does not have an official position on parental alienation syndrome--pro or con." She adds:
"The Connecticut Public Television press release is incorrect. I have notified both Connecticut Public Television and their PR firm of the inaccuracy in their press release."
To learn more, click here.
Leader of Domestic Violence Shelter Which Helped Fund Breaking the Silence Criticizes Film
Calling Breaking the Silence imbalanced and focused on extreme cases, Pam Kallsen, executive director of the Marjaree Mason Center, a domestic violence shelter in Fresno, California, contacted her