Rev Ron Smith's passing/ News Story on reform/ Harvard Study FEEDBACK

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From: John Murtari (
Date: Sun Sep 07 2008 - 10:05:51 EDT

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Good People & People of Faith,

1. Catholic paper article - on Reform & NonViolent Action.
2. Nationwide Micro-Rallies - From US F-4-J
3. The "Harvard Study" - what it said about y(our) movement.
4. The "Harvard Study" - your FEEDBACK

LAST MINUTE NOTE: I just received a couple of messages reporting
Rev. Ron Smith passed away after a heart attack Friday night.  Many of
you had the chance to interact with him via email; he was very active.
Many of us, including myself, were honored to meet him in person last
year during the DCRally (which I thought was the largest and most
focused reform event held so far in the United States).  I found him
ready to listen and a humble person -- a pretty rare combination in
leadership!  He had my respect.

You can read a bio at his website, -- he experienced
parental alienation and saw one of his own son's die of liver cancer
which may have been caused by 'Ritalin' treatment.

I really thought he 'got it' as far as what we need to do to make
reform a reality. I grieve with those among his family and friends at
his passing.  As a person of Faith, I use the word 'passing' to
describe what others might call 'death'.  For those who have learned
to truly Love -- the body dies, but their spirit & life is eternal...
Ron Smith knew how to Love.

1. Catholic paper article - on Reform & NonViolent Action.
I live in a rural county in New York. Almost all of my NonViolent
Actions and arrests have been in the city of Syracuse.  I'm also
active in our local church and was recently interviewed by a reporter
for a large Catholic newspaper that covers the Diocese of Rochester.

I hope you'll take the time to read the story (below). She did an
excellent job and I hope it helps convince many we are on the right
path.  I hope we will also notice what the article does NOT contain --
no calls for anger, revenge, fighting fire-with-fire, or anti-TALK.
We are blessed with a very simple and winning argument, WE LOVE OUR
CHILDREN -- we only have to have the Faith to make voluntary
self-sacrifice for what we believe in.

Pretty soon I'll be resuming the effort outside the offices of Senator
Clinton, http://www.AKidsRight.Org/clinton -- I've only had one other
person express interest so far.  With another mother and father we can
make a huge impact.  Contact me if you are interested.  Check the web
link. (John Murtari, jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org)

2. Nationwide Micro-Rallies - From US F-4-J

--- "Brian Holladay"

Fathers 4 Justice US [Registered Trademark! - Ed.]  will be holding
micro rallies across the country on September 27 2008.  We encourage
the involvement of anyone that is able to raise awareness and believes
parents have a fundamental natural right and obligation to raise their
children without interference from any person or government entity.

Action needed to support this effort.

1) Print out and make a sign at

2) Get a friend or two

3) Go to an area of high traffic around 1:00 P.M on Saturday September
27th. Sidewalks around malls and commercial areas are good at this
time of day.

4) Wave sign and yell "thank you" to people that honk and wave in
support.  If you get flipped off at least once you are doing well.
That person is usually driving a Lexus or better.

Make sure you take pictures, upload them and make comments at

Need more help?
Watch the training videos at

Still have questions?
Don't hesitate! 
contact Brian Holladay     440-388-4023

3. The "Harvard Study" - what it said about y(our) movement.

The original message was a 'satire/NOT REAL' (which I noted at the
end).  It was sent to me by a 'leader' in the movement and I thought
it made some good commentary (including the jabs at me).  But the
responses to the "Harvard Study" really did say a lot.  It made it
clear we need to better differentiate ourselves.  The 'big tent'
approach does not work.  That most have no historical perspective
about Civil Rights efforts and although EVERYONE seems ready to
criticize, NOBODY is ready, right now, to make personal sacrifice to
make it better for others.

The great Civil Rights movements of the past (individual liberty,
freedom of speech, freedom of religion, race/gender equality, ...)
became reality when that became 'the most important thing' for those
people. Folks who were willing to die for what they believed in.  To
succeed we ALL need to communicate a clear and fundamental goal;
something that will inspire that same self-sacrifice in our 'modern'

The 'Harvard Study' pointed out a lack of clear goals and methods and
leadership.  IT GENERATED A LOT OF FEEDBACK compared to other
messages, and most of it was full of anger at the authors!  The
majority of the feedback didn't even respond to the concerns -- just
people venting their frustration!  A 'selection' of the high volume
FEEDBACK is at the end of this message, both pro & con.

I tried to follow up with everyone regarding the specific questions
raised and a few people provided some thoughtful replies, I include
the questions and response below. [PLEASE, NO MORE FEEDBACK ON THIS

1. Does the F4J legalese regarding methods make sense in our efforts?

2. Does the ACFC 'petition goal' satisfy the ultimate goal of
protecting our rights as parents?

3. Doesn't my failure to motivate even a few people to join me outside
the offices of Sen. Clinton show a failure in leadership or methods?

4. How many parents are willing to really sacrifice to make things
better for someone else?

--- "Aarde V. Atheian" <>

1. The matter about the F4J legalese is really insignificant. At least
their emphasis is on protest and that is what will achieve us our

2. The matter about the wording of the petition is not at all

3. The matter of others not participating in your protests is
significant. I do not see it as a failure in leadership. Only few are
willing to participate. Until they do, we will all deservedly suffer
our current predicaments.

4. How many parents are willing to sacrifice for other parents? How
about how many parents are willing to sacrifice for their own
predicaments?  I see a precious few willing to do it even for their
own sake.

--- Stephanie Engle <>

1. (F4J legalese make sense?) Not entirely. You are fighting to change
the laws that have fallen way resulting from corrupt officers of the
court.  So, why the tepid verbiage; the waiver; etc?! F4J = Fathers
FOR Justice - and like our Forefathers you must be willing to engage
in fighting; planning STRATEGIES to win the war.

2. (ACFC goal clear?) No. What we need to do is find several
"horrific case studies" and pressure ACLU or some national law firm
with deep pockets (Preston,Gates, & Ellis) for example, to start
filing legal complaints against the courts, and those who engaged in
corruption to reach a predetermined outcome. I can't tell you how
"rattled my ex's attorney is" now when he sees me.

3. (Poor Murtari leadership?) here's the deal - Hillary is the WRONG
person to confront. She is so disingenuous - start reading footnotes -
I'm totally serious - you need a different Congressional member - I
may be ab;e to help you with that. But we need to get media to report
on this abuse - I approach CBS some time ago - they had some interest
- maybe we could develop this further and resubmit it.

4. (Parents willing to sacrifice?) Unfortunately - not many. People
are willing to act if will make a difference during their lifetime -
not someone else's.

--- "Gerald Gauthier" <>

> Regarding the comments, all I can say is that f4j and ACFC should
> revise their about statements and petitions. (I had to read the
> petition statement 3 times before I finally understood it. Even
> then, it is so watered down that even feminists would think it was
> written for them.) 

> As for their criticism of your group, their attempt to ridicule your
> efforts are really a reflection of their insensitivity and
> ignorance. Most everyone truly admires your determination and your
> honesty, John. However it comes as no surprise that some feminists
> will find nothing better to do than make fun of your efforts.

--- Dr. Amir H. Sanjari  <>

1. (F4J legalese make sense?) NO. It does NOT. (This applies to the US

2. (ACFC goal clear?) NO. It does NOT. The ACFC have shown themselves
to be ineffective already.

3. (Poor Murtari leadership?) I do not believe either. Maybe if one
were a little more forceful and actively asked others to do certain
things. I know you have asked people to come to court or gather
outside. However, not everyone can be expected to possess every and
all qualities. You are brave to get out there and show your commitment
to your children and rights.  Unfortunately, this takes more than one
person.  BUT, here is the problem: PEOPLE ARE AFRAID.

4. (Parents willing to sacrifice?) Not many.  Many are aware of the
problems, not enough though, but they are fearful of the authorities,
losing money, jobs, etc.  And quite frankly, many others are just
plain selfish and self- centered, though shortsighted, and put their
own interests before those of their children, their rights, and
eventually, later on, their own liberty.

Simply they are cowards and ignorant. Even many in these groups who
talk a lot qualify for these traits. As former US Senator Gramme said
they are "whiners". When my children were kidnapped by the court, I
did not stop to think that taking action in federal courts against the
judge, et al. would lose me my 6-figure salaried job and black list
me, etc. I just did it for my children. And now, I have come to the
conclusion that only by en masse non-violent non-compliance with any
and all unconstitutional orders (custody, "cs", etc) and marching to
state and supreme courts every day can this be dealt with effectively
together, no matter how long it may take, no matter if it means masses
of fathers withholding their labour, etc. The more people, the shorter
it would take. In any case, taking that kind of action would shorten
the fight for our rights and children and pain to them far more than
the current slow torture. Also they do not have enough room to
incarcerate all of us, and for how long? Are they doing the same now!?

The internet, for all its benefits, has also had the disadvantage of
making people lazier and turning them into "desk activists".  They
have forgotten how to get out there march and and fight for their
fast-slipping rights. Mr. King, et al., did not stop taking non-
violent non-compliance action when it was called for, like it is now,
so that he'd get a new laws passed, for which he'd have had to hold
his breath forever.

At this rate we shall not prevail as rights advocacy groups. Indeed, I
am almost confident that people in this country will not prevail at
this rate for they have forgotten how they achieved those rights to
begin with.

4. The "Harvard Study" - your FEEDBACK in agreement

--- sam ross <>

> It is true we need to get more publicity, but with our countries new
> laws that vaguely define terrorism as "any group that wants to
> affect political change" we have to walk on eggshells.

Thanks for taking the time to write.  What you say is quite true.  But
as I'm sure the people that fought for Civil Rights in the past would
say -- that risk is part of it!

--- Diane <>

> ... it is true that the Organizations are splintered and all too
> often work from emotions.&nbsp; Maybe that Dad's law firm out of
> Indiana could help organized one national group - that really would
> help to get the job done - maybe one day I will write to them
> suggesting participation - maybe they could hire me for a modest fee
> to get the project moving

---  Mark Godbey <>

> It is a disjointed effort. No clear focus, no clearly defined
> "civil right" and it seems anyone can join in this "party."  I will
> write more later, but this is sure to piss off the self-righteous.

--- Stephanie <>

> The truth hurts sometimes and this is one of those times. I have
> spoken with a number of single dads - I have listened carefully as
> they painfully profess their "boxing matches" with corrupt officers
> of the court.

> Let me give you a "for instance" - This past weekend a number of
> F4J folks arrived in DC to march from the Capitol to the White
> House. Brain Holliday, the groups leader envisioned several hundred
> - about 60 (that's generous) showed up.

> So, here's the problem:

> 1. The speeches were emotional excerpts from personal diaries.
> rather than demands based on bills (legislation) the group is 
> fighting to get on to the Congressional floor.

> 2. The event was held in mid-August: when NO ONE is in DC! Congress
> and the Executive branches are on recess; soon gathering at pending
> election year conventions - NOTHING GETS DONE during the tail end of
> an election year.

> 3. Events need to draw crowds: so build them as FORUMS: with noted
> speakers to draw the crowd - charging entrance fees to raise capital
> for the movement. Build the movement INTELLECTUALLY.

> Basically, and to your dismay - I agree with the Harvard
> synopsis. The only thing that was not readily evident in reading the
> segment below were suggestions by the researchers to remedy the
> issues they underscored.

--- Stan Rains <>

> Sadly these excerpted comments are on target for all of us.
> one will let go of their own ego long enough to help the other guy
> out with his project or his case and efforts to stay free, see his
> children, or to be able to retain at least a living wage from his
> own labors.

> The D.C. Festival is breath of fresh that provides some direction,
> at least. If we all put in 20% of our activism time on supporting
> one or two other activists' with their programs we would see a
> coalescing of strength.

> Who will give another man his time or money to further any of our
> goals? Therein is our failure. We better all get ready for a lot
> of jail time.Maybe there we will learn to help on another.

--- "Bob" <>

> I agree 100% with what is said here and do not see it as "sarcastic"
> at all.  It is all true and realistic.

> It is a total failure of our movement to articulate its objectives,
> never mind the strategies to get there!

> Without a vision, specific objectives, timelines and even budgets we
> are not a movement or organization at all.

> I think their lack of understanding of the problems is also obvious
> as there is much complexity and 30+ problems being looked at as one.

> A Parental Right Bill at the federal level may be the only way to
> fix multiple problems in one way - odds are we need more specific
> efforts first to build our base, financing and experience before we
> attempt such a large task.

--- Asif Suleman <>

> perhaps there is some truth in the matter, but this is not a fault
> of yours, for lack of trying to mobilize parents it is a problem we
> all, especially dads in civil rights movements face
> many will bemoan the injustices in their time of personal need
> expect you to fight the battle whilst contentedly riding the train
> of your /our children's noble and gallant crusade to get a fair deal
> under an unfair family law system

> Having reached their chosen destination, these dads don't return to
> help and support others in the same predicament, jump off at their
> chosen station: no donation or ticket fair is the norm and wave us
> on down the tracks
> JEREMY SWANSON once sent me something along the lines: WE ARE
> regrettably , as long as individuals are concerned /merely committed
> to their own case rather than the greater cause ...we cant build up
> numbers...dads if you have benefited come back and assist

--- "Ian Mitchell" <>

> The problem with the Father's Rights/Equal parenting movement is the
> continual infighting that occurs. It seems that everyone has their
> own way of doing stuff and when one group or another doesn't want to
> support "x" issue for "y" member, "y" member breaks off and forms
> their own group.  Blindly attacking F4J and calling them neutered is
> just another example of such infighting.
> Matt O'Connor's methods of blatant, in your face political stunts
> don't work in a post 9-11 US. If you had managed to throw purple
> powder in Congress, the entire building would be evacuated for
> Anthrax and you'd be charged with terrorism and locked away until
> someone decided to let you see light again.  (Thank you Patriot
> Act). Even O'Connor's own tactics ultimately backfired on him.
> I've watched and participated as the Missouri rep handed out F4J
> stickers to kids at the town Christmas parade in a small town with a
> population of 300-something. I watched him again on the news a few
> months later leading a protest in a pathetic looking superman-like
> costume. I stood on the street corner of another small town and
> watched dozens of cars honk as they drove by (my kids even got to
> participate with me that time). Two people even stopped to stand
> with us. Getting the word out to all corners is how change will
> occur. Unifying both small town America and big cities like New York
> or Chicago will work much better, and he's doing it.

> And I watched again as he did another protest in Jefferson City,
> this time with more people and two different news stations giving
> him ample positive press.

> The model works in the US form, it just requires a lot of sweat
> equity out there on the streets. And if I were not currently
> deployed to Iraq, I'd be there now doing it myself. If you want to
> see change (and Mr. Murtari, you're in a good position to foster
> it!) Work against frustration! He who unifies the movement will
> bring about change. Look at all the successful political movements
> in the past. Woman's Suffrage, Martin Luther King, etc.  They all
> received the change they asked for when there was unity amongst the
> parties asking for it. Work to unify, not to criticize, not to
> fight.

> That Harvard study mere confirms my views, I think we can do it, we
> just need unity and a strong voice.

5. The "Harvard Study" - your FEEDBACK against!

--- Russ <>

> Why doesn't Harvard do a study on the bastardization of the United
> States Constitution and all it stands for? Are they afraid they
> would get their funding pulled?

--- Brad <>

> Perhaps we need to send a little letter to these Harvard scientists
> who sit at their bench, avoid their families and society like
> hermits, and then act like they have authority over a subject matter
> in which they have no real experience dealing with. I know because I
> am a scientist myself (I have a PhD) so I can write the letter as
> one scientist to another!  I am actually leaving the field of
> science and going into finance to earn more money and to avoid these
> intellectual elitist hermits! If you want me to, I will draft a
> rebuttal letter and send it right to these pigs!


> These people are the ones that never get their hands dirty and use
> intellect to down talk the ones that are actually in the
> trenches. Why don't they explain the United States Constitutions and
> the State Constitutions and the oaths that judges and lawyers always
> violate. Have they represented anyone?? Have they saved a life of a
> child or a parent. Have they taken a stand for anything? If they
> have all the answers to these problems and gross violations why
> haven't they changed anything. Its easy to coach from the stands.

--- "David Roberts" <>  ACFC

> I realize it's a satire, but "... sinking into oblivion ...", eh?  The
> Learned Dr. Batterson should do a little fact-checking before writing such
> tripe - the latest "news" is actually from last month (check it out), not
> "2005", and a google search for "American Coalition for Fathers and
> Children" gets 22,700 hits.  We're still representing our thousands of
> members by distributing The Liberator to every legislator in America, with
> no plans to quit, with positive feedback from legislators across America
> with every issue, including things like the enactment of a shared parenting
> bill in Florida last month.  To paraphrase I believe it was Mark Twain,
> "Reports of our demise have been much overstated."   

--- Mike <>

> yuk, yuk, yuk, this report reminds me of court.  the accuser/author
> wants anonymity which means they won't subject their ideas to the
> scrutiny of the public square. as such they're inconsequential
> complainers or mistook the date for April 1.  in either case the
> 'spoof/satire' serves no useful purpose.  of course, I'd be happy to
> speak with the author directly, but have very limited time for
> meaningless argument.


> I am sure that this group has only high praises for those groups
> who want to deny loving fathers the right to have a relationship
> with their children. Of course they would see any group that has a
> focus on the right of dads to be dads unless they bow down to the
> feminist terms of only helping mom and keeping the child support
> flowing. It would seem that the only fathers groups that get any
> tax supported funding are only those that are puppet organizations
> to feminist organizations. I am sure any of our groups could be a
> lot more effective and known if we got tax payer dollars given to us
> such as they do.

--- Fred <>

> Having recently attended the 2008 DC festival I can assert with full
> confidence that the excerpts that you have provided are poorly
> researched, and lacking in both fact and substance, and from the
> derogatory inflammatory language and misleading innuendo may indeed
> represent the sort of drivel that we could expect from the Harvard
> Review.

> The most obvious factor that the authors fail to recognize is that
> other civil rights movements, such as those for blacks, women, gays,
> etc. represented a distinct social group who were fighting against
> discrimination in society, and their success was achieved in large
> degree through valiant efforts of the legal community in securing
> those rights across our nations courts.

> DC2008 included representation from a variety of groups from
> non-custodial mothers, to parents and victims of DCF/CPS, survivors
> of parental alienation, and in no small measure F4J and a variety of
> father's rights organizations.

> What outsiders fail to recognize is that we are united under the
> same goal of parental rights, and our representation includes all
> class and groups of people working together under the same cause to
> uphold parental rights. People of all ages, gender, race, ethnicity,
> religion,social, economic and educational diversity are counted
> among our membership.

> I especially find the criticisms lacking and quickly respond to the
> trademark issue as an effort to curb creation of sham or splinter
> groups that would take up the F4J banner or logo in foolish or
> deliberate efforts to discredit the organization. {and the fatigues
> are purple, the universal color for equity/equality, and not pink,
> while Pat O'Conner does provide a very amusing story regarding his
> penchant for garish hot pink and purple attire on UK's F4J main
> page.}...

--- "" <>

> You have to understand that Harvard U. is a hot-bed of liberalism
> and it's intrigues.  It COULD be that this "report" is a fake, but
> it is just as likely to be true. The three member "team" who
> (supposedly) put this report together, OBVIOUSLY did not interview
> any of the leaders of the groups they trashed.  I would assume that
> the whole idea was to trash those groups so as to undermine their
> credibility, and thus their chances for success.  They would, most
> likely, have received a substantial grant for doing so. Whoever
> might have given them a grant was obviously cheated.  Had this been
> a REAL study, there would have been interviews with both sides,
> statistics, and perhaps a poll.  This was nothing but opinion, and
> transparently biased opinion at that. One could imagine that the
> three stooges who wrote it are waiting in intense anticipation,
> bordering on sexual ecstasy, for Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton to
> be elected president.
> I had no difficulty understanding the mission statements, and I am
> no Harvard professor.  For them to denigrate them to the degree that
> they did, calling them mind-bending, etc., indicates that Harvard
> has drastically lowered it's standards for professorships.
> This so-called "report" should be understood for the liberal
> backlash that it is.  And you should understand that there is no
> need for backlash unless you are afraid that your opponents have a
> chance of winning.  It's a good example of "shooting the messenger".
> They can't, logically or factually, refute our claims, so they
> bad-mouth us and our groups to discredit us, to keep others from
> joining, and reduce our chances of being taken seriously by
> legislatures, courts, and media.
> Take heart, fellow activists, we're gaining ground, and the liberals
> are frightened.  You may safely assume that the three groups they
> targeted are the ones their most frightened of. Personally, I take
> this as a challenge to make DADD (Dads Against Divorce
> Discrimination) the fourth group on their list.  What about YOUR
> group?

                                       John Murtari
Coordinator                            AKidsRight.Org
jmurtari@AKidsRight.Org                "A Kid's Right to BOTH parents"
Toll Free (877) 635-1968(x-211)        http://www.AKidsRight.Org/
A Kid's Right to Both Parents!
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