This book is nothing short of horrifying. The family law/divorce bureaucracy in America (and other western countries) is, in reality, a totalitarian arm of the state. In Baskerville's words, 'Divorce today means the invasion and destruction of private life by the state.' (p. 20). If you think this is hyperbole, read this book: accounts of innocent citizens (involuntarily divorced men) imprisoned without trial, unaccountable social service workers who destroy individuals and families with blatantly false accusations, men turned into destitute slaves by outrageous child-support bills, and it goes on and on.
In the first chapter, Baskerville notes that, `As we will see, the astonishing but incontrovertible fact is that with the exception of convicted criminals, no group in our society has fewer rights that fathers...Once a man has a child, he forfeits his most important constitutional rights. And mothers are not immune' (pp. 33-34). He then goes on, in the next chapter (Divorce and the Constitution) to document, in detail, how divorce/family law systematically violates the most basic rights recognized and safeguarded by the Constitution.
The chapter Deadbeat Dads or Plundered Pops? lays the hoax, as Baskerville puts it, of the `Deadbeat Dad' to rest once and for all. Though such creatures exist, they are exceedingly rare. The reality of the situation is that the vast majority of divorced dads are forbidden by lay, on pain of imprisonment, to have any contact with their children. Such men have been summarily imprisoned (without trial) for sending their children birthday cards, saying `I love you', showing up for a school play or sports event, or even accidentally running across them in public. All of this, of course, despite the fact that they are forced to pay punitive levels of `child support'. Sadly, even some conservatives have unwittingly bought into this hoax and make a habit of blaming dads who abandon their families for cultural breakdown.
Baskerville exposes how child support obligations came to so incommensurate with its purpose; to support a child (such obligations regularly are far in excess of that needed to provide for a child). 'Current child support guidelines are largely the creation of one man, who is also the founder and primary owner of the nations largest private debt collection company (pp. 128ff). Needless to say, there is conflict of interest here: if someone is not in arrears, such companies have no work. Therefore it was, and is, in the interest of such creeps to keep these bills as high (and difficult to pay) as possible so as to insure that their services will be needed.
Compounding this is the fact that it is in the States' best interest to keep these obligations as high as possible as well. This is because the more outstanding child support obligations a state has, the more federal money they get to enforce child support. Thus, the more unreasonable and onerous the child support obligations are, the more states, like the debt collection agencies, are likely to profit from it.
A typical sample is cited on page 135, 'one father, who's take-home pay is aproximately $1,200...of which he is left $200 to care for a family of four. (more on pp.144-145)
The sad fact is that divorced men have no protection from this oppressive regime; they are completely defenseless (unless they have political connections). Married men are, of course, at risk; should their wife choose to divorce them, they are screwed. Which leads us to another subject, touched on only briefly in the book: the `marriage strike' (Baskerville elaborates on this in a recent article at http://www.intellectualconservative.com/....ave-children/). Baskerville puts it pointedly on page 295:
If we truly believe our present divorce policy is appropriate, we should at least have the honesty to tell young people up front that marriage provides them no protection against government seizure of their children and everything else they have. Let us inform them that even if they remain faithful to their vows, they can lose their children, their home, their savings and future earnings, their freedom, and even their lives. Not only will government afford them no protection; it will prosecute them as criminals, though without the due process of law afforded to formally accuses criminals. And let us see how many young people - let us be honest, young men - are willing to start families.
Yes, we need to be honest; but young men are already waking up. There are many who are justifiably concerned by the decline in marriage rates, especially among the young (early-mid twenties). However, some like to pretend that concerns about this divorce regime (or its handmaiden, feminism - see the chapter 5) are just excuses invoked by immature men seeking to avoid the responsibility of marriage.
Chief among these ostriches is author Debbie Maken. In her book `Getting Serious About Getting Married' and on her blog, she regularly castigates men for invoking the `bogey of feminism' and using fears of divorce as a convenient excuse to avoid `manning up' and getting married. Apparently, men are not only to be brave, but stupid. The family law/divorce bureaucracy is a meat-grinder, and men justifiably fear it. If Maken wants to be taken seriously by those outside her fanclub, she needs to pull her head out of the sand.
More ominously, Maken and her ilk ignore this reality at their own peril (and that of families in general) for as Baskerville points out, though fathers are the first and most common causalities of this `war on the family', the state has begun to cast its rapacious eye toward mothers and happily married couples as well. Baskerville recounts cases where a married woman hs been given an ultimatum by social service bureaucrats: divorce your husband or we will confiscate your children. Baskerville notes that this is standard practice in Massachusetts, and that reporters there claim seeing hundreds of such cases. On pp. 210-211, Baskerville discusses one such case involviing a couple with a terminally ill child. A visiting home-healthcare nurse (also a social service worker) made false accusations of physical and sexual abuse. The courts threw out the case, but social services didn't give up. They hauled the innocent couple away in shackles and confiscated their children. The ill child was returned to the couple at death. The couple then fleed and eventually had another child. Social services hunted them down and took the child. At the hearing the judge took the child, citing that the couple was `stressed'. Despite freely admitting that the stress was induced by social services, the couple was still deprived of their child. The state then planned to put the children up for adoption. All of this because a social worker LIED (and was never held accountable). This, as Baskerville points out, is where all this is headed. The state is not just out to destroy fathers, they are out to destroy the family as a unit of society; fathers are the frontline defense for families and are thus attacked first. The state, in its current incarnation, is simply unwilling to tolerate authority structures outside of itself (hence the attack on families and the church).
There is much, much more in this important book; everyone must read it. And then we be willing to pull our heads out of the sand and acknowledge this threat.
John "Bookworm" writes
There is a war that is very little noted in the media. It is not in some faraway land. It takes place inside America itself and is a war upon the family, especially fathers. In this well-documented book, Dr. Stephen Baskerville argues that a "divorce industry" favors America's epidemic of divorce, family breakdown, and fatherlessness.
Many factors enter into this war. One driving force is the infiltration of feminist ideas that have become institutionalized in modern family law. This makes possible a penal apparatus that has proven an "effective instrument for waging gender warfare on the most personal level." Because they represent the hated "patriarchy," fathers are often demonized and automatically labeled as official villains by many social workers.
Equally important is the psychological climate that has been created around the "crisis in the family." Dr. Baskerville claims the media has created certain myths that predispose people to accept certain social policies. One of the greatest myths is that of the "deadbeat dad" which is not only a myth but a hoax, the creation of government officials and lawyers plundering parents whose children they have taken away.
The result of feminist ideology, media myths and no-fault divorce policies is a government-run system tearing apart families, separating children from fit and loving parents, confiscating the wealth of families, and turning law-abiding citizens into criminals in ways they are powerless to avoid.
The evidence is overwhelming, and the author takes great pains to cite tragic real life cases.
Raising a family in these modern times is hard enough in today's hostile culture. Dr. Baskerville's devastating indictment of the divorce industry only highlights just how difficult, if not miraculous, it is that families survive at all in the crossfire of a brutal yet unacknowledged war on the family.
Paul M. Clements writes
As a fathers' rights/family values advocate for 20 (+) years, I've read many books on the subjects of divorce, custody, child support, and domestic violence. Dr. Baskerville's, "TAKEN INTO CUSTODY" is by far the best of all I've read. It examines the bias against, and mistreatment of, fathers from several perspectives. Dr. Sanford Braver did the same in, "DIVORCED DADS, Shattering the Myths", but Baskerville goes further.
TAKEN INTO CUSTODY examines the REASONS for the widespread bias and mistreatment. Details exposing the extent of the bias will probably shock many readers. Moreover he offers solutions to solve the problems. The book is thoroughly researched and documented, coherently assembled, and intelligently written. No one, friend or foe, interested in family law should miss this book; although one suspects that those who have reason to fear the truth about our family courts will avoid it like the plague.
DADD (Dads Against Divorce Discrimination)
Gregory J. Fischer "the children's lobbyist" (Calverton, NY)
Thank god for this book! It about time that this [...] is exposed. Dads are EQUAL PARENTS and there should not be schemes and tricks employed by the system (and complicit mothers) to deny fit fathers their rights to be active fathers.
Sadly, and ironicly, the same tricks are now starting to be used against the moms and between members of same sex couples.
What got lost in translation is that, although there is a huge gender bias against heterosexual men, the real target is ANY Family Court party.
As well a disgrace, the tricks an schemes a of less than fit parent trying to bias the court and STEAL the child through perjury takes government resources away from truly harmed victims.
The Family Law profession employs the same tricks over and over again FOR PROFIT AND GLUTTONY:
1.) Split the parties --- filter and even reduce all communications.
2.) Fuel acrimony albeit unwittingly in some instances.
3.) Add as many 3rd party providers to bill the marital estate as is possible.
4.) Purge the host (parties) of all assets.
5.) Abandon the children's best interests and reder them quasi-orphaned.
6.) Empower the drug companies to treat the symptoms of conflict and family chaos.
7.) Raise taxes for the working classes.
8.) Feed the "blood money" of Family Court litigation into lobbying to quash legal reform.
Children, the parents, and the extended family are all commonly destroyed in the process. Who gains?
Thank you Mr. Baskerville (author) for a great effort on this very important book.
To you, the prospective buyer of this book, buy every copy of this book you can and give a copy out to every member of your entire family ASAP.
Then give copies to clergy and teachers to educate them. Give copies to politicians, judges, and YOUR LAWYER to let them know you are HIP TO THE CON GAME!
This book is about a CRISIS and a NATIONAL EMERGENCY! Don't delay; get the word out ASAP!