Saturday, June 5, 2010

Munchausen Syndrome / Part 210 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/

Munchausen syndrome is named after Baron von Munchausen who was in the German military and is noted for his extensive travels during which he told fantastic tales about his imaginary exploits. In 1951 Richard Asher applied the Baron's name to people who reported into hospitals fabricating histories or symptoms of illnesses. His name now has become synonymous with a disorder in which a person intentionally fakes, simulates, worsens, or self-induces an injury or illness for the main purpose of being treated like a medical patient. A related condition, called Munchausen by proxy syndrome, refers to a caregiver who fakes symptoms by causing injury to someone else, often a child, and then wants to be with that person in a hospital or similar medical setting. It is the latter syndrome that was associated with Zabeth by someone who called in a report of concern to the MCFD. That person could have remained anonymous but didn't and in fact was identified in court when he gave testimony. He testified that during his professional training he had become acquainted with the term and its signs and in observing both Zabeth and her children, although unqualified professionally to make a definitive assessment, concluded Zabeth may be suffering this disorder. The timing of that call to MCFD approximate to the time of the Bayne infant's admission to and examination in Children's Hospital in Vancouver fueled the MCFD persuasion that the children needed protection. That combination of factors has led the Bayne family to the point today that the fate of their family rests with a provincial judge who will decide whether evidence presented by the Ministry lawyer proves that Paul and Zabeth are unfit parents who should never have custody of their children again in this life, or whether they should receive those children back immediately because the Ministry file folder containing three years of data on the Baynes is filled with subjective and biased hearsay rather than conclusive evidence.

Did Zabeth actually do what the syndrome scenario suggests? For one moment do you think that when her small daughter vomited, didn't eat, didn't poop, couldn't breath, didn't respond to stimuli and she took the child to hospitals and clinics in Hope, Chilliwack and Abbotsford over a period of days because no one was making an accurate diagnosis, that she was actually trying to gain attention for herself? Was she so needy that she inflicted injury to her child so that she would have reason to go the hospital and make a scene? No, Munchausen doesn't relate to her daughter's life in even the remotest sense. MCFD has never attested that it accepts the Munchausen possibility but it has not needed to because a medical diagnosis at Children's Hospital assessed the daughter's condition and speculated that it derived from non accidental trauma, that is an inflicted wounding. So regardless of the motivation, the implication is that mom did it, or dad did it. If the diagnosis of these symptoms was as conclusive as Children's Hospital or MCFD have maintained for almost three years, Paul and Zabeth would not have a hope. However, the ministry case in court has been paper thin. The Ministry lawyer's problem is that shaking a baby, as horrific an act as it is, is not the only probable cause for what the baby suffered in 2007 and has since then. That is why August 9-13 is so important as the Baynes present the alternative medical expert opinions that controvert the SBS diagnosis and which MCFD should have been diligent to pursue if quality investigation is a Ministry commitment.

It has been and it is an uphill battle for this mom to establish credibility which she lost involuntarily. She didn't need attention. She received it naturally and deservedly as a concert pianist and a music instructor. She is not now personally thriving on the media attention by which she hopes to regain her children, but rather is wilting under the discourtesies of insinuations and allegations. She is compelled to be a parent by proxy. She would much prefer to slip quietly away in the embrace of her three children, never to be heard from again.

See M.A.M.A.


  1. Excellent analysis, thank you!

  2. Oh my goodness. (no sarcasm).

    I just don't understand the vastly differing medical reports - and yet the so obviously true love these parents have for the children.

  3. Ron; I am a little surprised that you would give so much space to Muenschausens. This evidence was givn by a man who was probably the least credible of all the witnesses. You covered his testimony already and showed how ridiculous it was. This is the man who was shown an 18 page typed transcript of an interview he had with the police. The judge had to stand the court down for half and hour to give this slow reader time to look at it. He could not remember having said anything in the report, but figured he must have if this was a transcript.
    Zabeth was supposed to take her 15 week premature child to the doctor frequently. This does not prove Muenschausens. He discredited himself and the ministry for having the poor judgement to call such a pathetic witness. I am sure the judge noticed.

  4. Revisiting surveillance of the concert, in addition to a "no recording" policy, the congregation should be asked to keep an eye on one another and report any recording, covertly or not, similar to Section 14 of CFCSA (making it a legal requirement to report that child protection is needed).

    Furthermore, ask KC to vet all written materials, if any, on the program and the projector and CL to record the entire concert in case they make false allegations on what has transpired. Instruct all ushers be vigilant on suspicious surveillance activities.

    If the Baynes go for coffee with friends after the concert, watch your back and be careful with what you say as you may be stalked by another team of plain cloth agents. They would like to catch you off guard when their presence is least expected.

    CW, have I missed anything? Perhaps you could share more insights on MCFD mounted surveillance. I am sure those who have no experience with MCFD will find this amazingly interesting.

    I am sure that the foregoing is all "authorized" under Section 13 and Section 16 of CFCSA, as appropriate/applicable investigation technique. Are phone wiretapping, e-mail interception on the menu yet? If not, the "child protection" cartel should lobby our very honorable MLA to allow them in CFCSA as these are powerful investigation techniques that could be used when appropriate/applicable. To protect children, I will support this, in some extreme cases, perhaps indefinite detention and torturing as well.

  5. ``The inventor of this label/diagnosis(Munchausen by Proxy), Sir Roy Meadow, has now been completely discredited in the UK courts and there is a tremendous public outcry for review of all cases in which he has ever been involved.``

    A simple visit to the doctor or hospital, can, under certain circumstances, result in charges of child abuse or neglect. Parents need to be aware that dealing with medical professionals can be precarious.

    With respect to the person who made the claim of Munchausen by Proxy, if they ever finally realize what an injustice they have done, what a horrible thing to live with - the knowledge that you have caused so much heartache, especially to innocent children. A little knowledge is truly a dangerous thing.

  6. I think it would be terrific for the Ministry to try to raise the Judge's awareness with regard to a fundraising concert to raise monies to finance legal bills made necessary by the ill advised efforts of the publicly funded and deep pockets of the ministry. It would open another door to discrediting the motives and practices of MCFD. Maybe then, Zabeth could have a grand piano brought into the court and after an explanation that she had to sell her own grand in order to pay previous legal costs, sit and perform a concerto for the judge and then say that this phase of her life has been on hold and it all part of the immeasurable cost to this family.

  7. I think the concert could be nothing but a good thing.

    Anonymous - all I can say

  8. I recall reading the January 14th, 2010 CBC story that first mention munchausen, ran the day after trial began (see

    I guess "witnessing" for the Lord and teaching the masses to live virtuous lives and preach about helping others is different from being a witness in a courtroom.

    The sequence of events involving these two questionable witnesses I found very curious. First, they file a "child protection concern" that the boys are small and underweight for their age (NOTHING about munchausens at this stage) and this is about a week after Paul and Zabeth had been bringing Bethany to doctors and the hospital several times and sent home each time.

    Only some weeks after the three children are removed and the RCMP is investigation, do these ministers come out of the woodwork and further villify the Baynes by putting "munchausens" on the RCMP record.

    I have little doubt the Ministry coached them before going into the RCMP, how would the fellow even know to mention munchausens. Exactly what business did he even have mentioning his personal theory when he testified earlier they witnessed the Bayens being very appropriate in terms of discipline with their children?

    Obviously it would not look good for the Ministry to plan to abduct the children and later adopt them out by claiming shaken baby syndrome without SOME cooberation of at least one recent protection concern on record.

    What a stroke of luck and remarkable coincidence the Ministry must have thought they encountered, having two staunch MCFD supporters file a protection report for them.

    The parents were in and out of the hospital spending many hours with their sick daughter, obviously very concerned and confused they were being sent home with no remedy or diagnosis. "Munchausens" is the only psychological condition that can turn this scenario of concerned parents into a negative. Great spin, MCFD.

    It seems pretty obvious to me if these two witneses are the recipients of other children who were removed by the same continuing custody order the Baynes are now fighting, there must be some financial connection with the Ministry that explains why these people are so willing to go public and villify their former friends.

    Perhaps they can come online and explain.

    This is likely precisely why the CFCSA permits anonymity, so people can take pot shots at people they don't like and don't have to be put on the stand to explain themselves. MCFD and their partners then get to put on an expensive show of child protection, fleecing taxpayers of tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars for each family that is victimized this way.

    As I witnessed the testimony of these witnesses, and I was wondering if the Ministry coached them before they went to the RCMP to give statements.

    A foster parent watching proceedings made a similar comment with respect to the foster parent testimony, with the comment that for most foster parents getting an expensive nanny to take care of the Bayne's children is not very common, otherwise more foster parents would be doing it.

    These witnesses also testified they were friends of the Baynes for the year previous, and often came over many times to bring food and provided other assistance. So, when they ceased being friends and stopped bringing food they decide to call the Ministry to report the children being too small? Thin? Malnourished? Neglected? But, NOT physically abused.


    I watched the last concert, and I was simply blown away by the range and quality of Zabeth's piano playing and with her duet partner, her former teacher. I had no idea she was so talented.

    It would be a great idea to sell DVD's from the last concert and ths one to help the cause.

    I have a feeling that after this is all over and the Baynes get their children back, that her music teaching business will soar.

  9. With curiosity, I have been following this for the past week ... flipping back and forth between the comments (unfortunately, don't have a great deal of time so only May & June) - amazing amount of comments and differences of opinion - actually very confusing to an outside observer. Everything said contradicts the other. I don't envy the judge his responsibility here. I can understand the anger and grief of the parents if they are innocent. Sounds like they are commenting on these blogs ... unless others very close to them are aware of all the most intimate of details. I also feel for whomever is being discussed in the comments here today. Ascerbic and vitriol. I pray to God they are not following this blog. There have been times over my life that I have witnessed abusive behaviour at parks and family centres. I had a friend that was abusive with her twin daughters and involved them in her drug use. I didn't do anything. And tossed and turned at night, filled with self-disgust and self-loathing because I didn't bring it forward to the authorities. Without knowing much about this, I find it so hard to believe that anyone, especially as a Christian, would do anything so malicious as this commenter has espoused(sp?). Another comment. Everybody on this blog is quoting doctors. And both sides seem to side, obviously, with the doctors that support their position. I have noticed amongst some of the commentors that there in an underlying "tone" of conspiracy with regards to doctors/social workers. However, in the same comments, they quote doctors to support their positions. Extremely contradictory and confusing to readers. Are all doctors good? Are all doctors bad? Or only the ones who don't fall in line with what we want them to say? That goes for both sides! As someone with family and friends in both the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Children and Families (although, thank God, not personally involved in THIS story) I find it mind-bending and extraordinarily unlikely that there is a conspiracy happening here ... sounds like a sci-fi movie, according to some of the comments. Probably more likely that a few individuals should stop pointing fingers, and take some responsibilty.

  10. I would definately like to purchase a DVD of Zabeth's music.

    I'm sure many people, who cannot attend the concerts, feel the same. If anyone knows a way to make this a reality, please let me and others know.

  11. In answer to Anon June 6, 2010 10:44 AM

    I would say that your observations as a relatively new reader of this blog with its list of posts and comments, accurately describe the tensions that exist between opinions and sympathies. I will say that the blog itself, my creation, is decidedly pro-Bayne family reunion because I personally believe that a wrong diagnosis was made and that the parents did not themselves harm their child volitionally or accidentally. I believe that the child's injuries were accidental or otherwise medically accountable. I write with respect for social workers, case workers, the ideal mission of the Ministry of Children and medical professionals but I write critically of incompetence. I am critical of what I perceive to be errors in judgement by those who are commissioned with so much power they are virtually immune to second guessing and discipline. The Baynes have an army of people who are their defenders, supporters and advocates whose opinions the Ministry has chosen to ignore, and the Baynes themselves do not contribute to the regular comments on this blog that either support them or are critical of the Ministry behaviour. I have permitted a ranging expression of comments all within the filter prescribed on the comment page. I permit defenders of Ministry actions and people committed primarily to the welfare of the children to write comments. No comments are edited. Truly offensive comments (my judgement) are rejected. I will not publish obscene, malicious or slanderous comments. The Bayne plight has given voice to numerous individuals who have similarly been deprived of parental and family rights and needless to say are not quick to hold back their anger with systems and people and who at times will express what they honestly have come to believe to be a financially driven conspiracy. I myself do not buy this implausible notion but I will not rebuke those who have lived with such grief and loss sometimes without hope of remedy.

  12. Using Munchausen syndrome in the Bayne's trial is a good example of floating high powered medical/psychological terms to bluff people. Be mindful that many of these are merely non-conclusive postulations not supported by science but by perceptions, speculations and beliefs. When a judge does not understand an argument, he/she is obliged to defer judgment. The very least this could accomplish is to lengthen the trial and child holding period and to make SW look seemingly justified in removing children. In the Bayne's trial, MCFD did manage to use up all the court time initially allocated and lengthen the trial, didn't they?

    To those who are new in investigating the child protection industry, it is indeed implausible to believe that the noble cause of child protection is tax dollar driven. Those who take this position should follow where the tax dollars go and identify who the real beneficiaries are. When the Bayne's case is over, seek the accounting of costs from MCFD and the Ministry of Attorney General by way of Freedom of Information application. Go find your answer.

    Keep an open mind, seek the right answer logically with facts and you will concur with the belief of these oppressed parents who may appear to be angry, radical, extreme and vengeful. This is very similar with evangelizing people to believe the unbelievable supernatural God. Such attitude is the parallel of non-believers criticizing evangelical Christians as religious fanatics, radical and dogmatic.

  13. I am always dismayed when I see parents characterized as angry, radical, extreme and vengeful. They are damned if they do, and damned if they don't (which is of course the claim that MCFD and other CPS agencies all over the world like to make).

    What is a person supposed to do when they have had their children ripped from them so brutally and they can only watch in horror as their flesh and blood slowly wither away, as is so often the case.

    If CPS all over the world did such a great job, ask yourself this: Why are so many foster children then in prisons, on the street, addicted, homeless, and dead? The government makes a really, really, really lousy parent. That fact keeps coming back over and over, no matter where you look at the effects of CPS.

  14. CPS, one need not ask ONLY "why so many foster children in prisons..." etc. One need also ask, "where are these children coming from?", "how long were they in foster homes for?", "what abuse/neglect did they suffer at hands of parents?", and "what are the same stats like for peers from similar neighbourhoods/demographics/self-declared victims of the same abuse/neglect."

    The simple answer is yes - putting kids in foster homes is NOT good. It's downright terrible as kids are better with parents, when parents can keep kids safe, happy, healthy.

    The more difficult answer is that an environmental survey need be done. You can't look at one stat and use that as definition of a problem. You need stats of peers in comparison.

    Rates are very high for kids who went through foster homes. Is it the foster homes fault? Was it the fault of the abuse they suffered prior to removal from parents? Predisposition? mental health issues (the children - ie, FAS)? what is the criminal/addictions history of the childs parents, did they have learning or other developmental delays? What kind of education system did the child endure/exposed to? The questions go on and on.

    Can't simply look at foster homes. Nothing in life is that simple. Bigger picture, my friend, bigger picture.

    Is there a history of some horrible foster homes? YES. Is there a history of some wonderful foster homes? YES. Can this area be improved all over the world, and most pertinent to us in the lower mainland? YES YES YES!

    Goodnight, and good luck.

  15. In response to comments made about MCFD surviellance: while there may be no proof at this time that MCFD does conduct surveillance on parents they are investigating, there is sufficient reason to believe it is happening. Parents involved with MCFD often state that social workers bring up things in court or in risk assessments that could not have been known about unless MCFD was collecting information by way of surveillance. Parents have stated that they believe they have been followed after children have been removed and conditions to access have been placed. Social workers quite often state 'half truths' on the stand, taking a bit of information and adding to it. For example, a parent was seen in a particular area of town just walking down the street but in court, it was said that the parent was walking down the street (at a time that he really was) 'ranting and raving about killing social workers', the latter part not being true at all. How did MCFD know that parent was in that area of town at that time? And why did they add false information to accurate information? The answer is: to strengthen their case. Social workers do not always tell the truth therefore, why should anyone believe that social workers collect information in an ethical manner? We already know that social workers collect information from neighbors and co-workers who barely know you, friends, family, bosses, doctors, teachers, ex-spouses who want to make you look bad, and whoever else will talk to them. We also know that more often than not, the information they collect is inaccurate. It is common knowledge that social workers do not abide by the Freedom of Information and protection of privacy Act. They can spread information about a parent, true or not, to anyone they want, including your boss which has cost many parents their jobs. My point is, if social workers will stoop to these levels to collect information and then not even have the decency to report it accurately to the courts, then why is it so unbelievable that they would set up surveillance on parents to make sure they are abiding by their rules?

  16. to the commenter above re: foster "care":

    Children died as a result of abuse in foster care 5.25 times more often than children in the general population. 2.1 percent of all child fatalities took place in foster care. While this may seem like a relatively low number, we must consider the contrast in population between children in the general population versus children in foster care. In 1997, there were nearly 71 million children in the general population (99.6%), but only 302 thousand in state care (.4%) in state care. As state care is supposed to be a 'safe haven', the number of fatalities should be less or at least equal to what it is in the general population of children. By this standard, there should have been less than .4% of child fatalities occurring in foster care, however, there was 5.25 times that amount. (31 states reporting)

    *CPS Watch Inc.

    Children are 11 times more likely to be abused in State care than they are in their own homes.

    *National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect (NCCAN)

  17. (A) those are American CPS foster care stats.

    (B) Again, you can't just look straight at "kids in care" vs. "kids not in care." You need to look at the much larger picture. Comparing kids in care to kids not in care is comparing apples to oranges.

  18. The stats here are probably worse, since they can sue and get sizable awards in the USA, but not in Canada (at least not yet, although I understand that there is a foster children lawsuit underway in Alberta), so if anything they are more accountable. At any rate, our systems are similar enough to infer that the stats would be similar here. Foster care wouldn't magically be a wonderful place once you cross the border.

    Why can't one compare kids in foster care to kids not in foster care? I realize the stats are damning, but I don't see any reason why the two can't be compared.

  19. In response to CW's comment: why can't you compare children in care to children not in care? Maybe you need to realize that many children in care don't need to be in care and did not come from bad homes. As well, many children NOT in care should be in care and do come from bad homes. Have you read Jane Morley's report from 2006 which compares BC children in care to BC children not in care? Scary stats. Why do natural deaths occur at a much higher rate in foster care than for children not in care? Is it because the investigations were poorly done? How can 'naturally' occurring deaths be higher in care and why? It isn't comparing apples and oranges. It's comparing children.

  20. The statement that it is "comparing apples to oranges" isn't really an answer; it's actually somewhat evasive.

    While there no doubt are some good foster parents, too many of them appear to get into it for the wrong reasons. And those wrong reasons can and do have devastating consequences for the children.

    Anon (above) where can one find the Morley report? (You, Anon, wrote, above: "Have you read Jane Morley's report from 2006 which compares BC children in care to BC children not in care? Scary stats.")

  21. Jane Morley's report can be found at


I encourage your comments using this filter.
1. Write politely with a sincere statement, valid question, justifiable comment.
2. Engage with the blog post or a previous comment whether you agree or disagree.
3. Avoid hate, profanity, name calling, character attack, slander and threats, particularly when using specific names.
4. Do not advertise