Sunday, June 6, 2010

Surprised by Joy / Part 211 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne/

C.S. Lewis, was the marvelous British author of novels and non fiction whose titles include, 'The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe' within the series of 'The Narnia Chronicles.' He also wrote the poignant 'Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life.' The latter is a partial autobiography published in 1955 describing Lewis' conversion to Christianity. His was an accidental discovery of the irresistible phenomenon he labelled “Joy.” The title itself was inspired by a William Wordsworth poem entitled, "Surprised By Joy — Impatient As The Wind", in which Wordsworth expresses the experience of temporarily forgetting the death of his beloved daughter only to be reminded with a stab of joy once again as he thinks about her and what he has lost. This is what he wrote.
"Surprised by joy — impatient as the Wind / I turned to share the transport — Oh! with whom / But Thee, deep buried in the silent tomb, / That spot which no vicissitude can find? / Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind — / But how could I forget thee? Through what power, / Even for the least division of an hour, / Have I been so beguiled as to be blind / To my most grievous loss?--That thought's return / Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore, / Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn, / Knowing my heart's best treasure was no more; / That neither present time, nor years unborn / Could to my sight that heavenly face restore."
I am struck with empathy for the eldest son of Paul and Zabeth Bayne who was three and one half years of age when he was removed from his parents and their family home by the Ministry of Children and the RCMP. His life until then was all about home: parents, baby brother, brand new sister, home, grandparents. At that moment he lost something undefinable and he grieved. What do we know about this small boy's grief. And then within months to be placed in his grandparents' home only briefly and then during a birthday party to be extracted again by people in authority. To be taken as his parents and grandparents stand crying and panicking and helpless to interfere or prevent. Compound that with his awareness that his younger brother too was forcibly taken, and to see his sybling's horror and sorrow and to not understand what is happening and why it is happening, and this comprised his new life. To be placed in homes where his needs are met and relationships develop and there is warmth and affection and yet he finds that his parents visit with him each week for a few hours but then there is always the wrenching goodbye, and why? And tears and an uncontrollable pain of confusion so profound it has become a part of who he is. He is forever affected by what the Ministry of Children has done to him and his family. He sees his mommy and daddy cry at times. His mind can still recall home as he knew it three years ago. Will he ever be able to return he wonders? How much is warehoused so deeply within him there is no further explanation needed for the development subnormality.

And then I long that he might this summer be SURPRISED BY JOY, and that the hope that he has treasured, guarded so tightly somehow, will be realized.


  1. Sarah A'CourtJune 6, 2010 at 9:19 AM

    I hope so deeply that they all can have this surprise.... It is just so tragic and has continued for too long. May the ministry correct their mistake!

  2. This is one long torture for parents and children. I can see why parents might view the permanent loss of their child to the Ministry as something akin to - or worse than - death.

    I am copying and pasting (below) from this blog, so please revise if details have changed:

    Concert to support the Bayne's legal fund:

    This Sunday, June 6, 2010 @ 7:30pm to 9:00pm at Vancouver Chinese Baptist Church, 7474 Culloden Street, Vancouver, BC

    Admission is Free - Gifts will be received for the Bayne legal fund

    People can make a donation at the concert or right now by making the cheque payable to

    Lau, Chiu, Hunt Legal Trust Fund for Bayne

    9406 Pauleshin Cres, Richmond, BC V7E 6P2

    Donations will be accepted by deposit to this trust account at any branch of TD Canada Trust.

    TD Canada Trust [bank # 004]
    Continental Centre Branch [branch # 9713]
    Account Number [6415554]

    Cheque should be made payable to: "Charter Lau, Kenny Chiu, Marvin Hunt In Trust For Paul and Zabeth Bayne" ; OR "Lau, Chiu, Hunt ITF Bayne"

  3. RON; What a lovely, lyrical issue today. I would like to add a word on topics of yesterday. There is a very saddening thread running through the comments. This is the evident total mistrust of the ministry. I and many of my colleagues strove for years to do protection work with honour and compassion. Some bloggers claim that we never hear about the social workers who do good work. If there are so many, why are they not writing in to tell us their stories?
    I can assure some of your contributors that their fears about surveillance are completely unfounded. Ministry staff simply do not have the competence to do anything like this. They could not even do a decent hatchet job on the Baynes. Their clumsy attempts were completely dismantled under cross-examination.

  4. Some time back, a commenter asked if anyone read the book by Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate called Hold On To Your Kids, Why Parents Matter.

    Having heard the name before, and finding out it was a Vancouver author I checked it out at the local library, and have been reading it. It goes far in explaining the importance of attachment between children and parents and the various responses of children when these attachments are disrupted.

    The book is quite enlightening, especially for experienced parents who instinctively produce well adjusted productive children that go on to have normal relationships and lives. These parents will experience considerable enlightenment as to understanding why they are good parents.

    After going through a removal and subsequent return, and observing the marked difference in my children for the worse, and the refusal of the Ministry to offer my children services to address issues I saw, I realized the Ministry are very much aware of the of the damage that is done to a child due to forced removal.

    It was clear to me the Ministry did not want anyone really qualified, let alone objective, to definitively say the damage to the children is due exclusively to forced and extended separation. MCFD is really guilty of far greater abuse to children than they claim parents are responsible for, certainly in my case and the Bayens, and several other parents I've talked to. I have yet to meet a parent that speaks positively of this level of Ministry intervention.

    When removals occur without first using a supervision order to permit close monitoring and offering of services to address problems, EVERYONE pays the maximum price, and the only beneficiaries are the government and other third parties such as lawyers and service providers such as supervision and counselling.

    The Ministry hires social workers who understand the importance of child-parent attachments. These trained individuals are in the best position to maximize this damage over the longest period of time possible, and to establish new, Ministry-Foster parent-child replacment attachments.

    MCFD constantly maintains 'work needs to be done' they justify keeping children in care no matter how many parenting courses or anger management courses are completed. That, and they set court dates years away.

    I found out through acquiring black book notes and internal emails, that foster parents work hand in hand with the social worker to engineer either the most intense disruption in the children's lives, or the reverse, deliberately foster strong attachments between the children and adults. Parents are definitely the enemy in any child removal scenario.

    Foster parents have no special skills other than a will to make tax-free money, at least ten times that of child benefits, and at most attend a week course put on by the Ministry. Those that "do well" are those that play ball with the Ministry in terms of information gathering and executing plans of disruption or bonding.

    On wikipedia of all places, I found a listing of problems children encountere when in foster, see

    After hearing my children speak of their encounter in care, it became apparent social workers and foster parents work diligently together to disparage the parent in front of the children in order disrupt these vital bonds. My kids don't trust anyone in authority as a result. I don't know if I can fix this.

    The plight of children is used and justified by the Ministry to demonstrate the parents are responsible for all of the psychological damage. Planning of removals close to special days such as birthdays, Christmas (in my case), and preventing visitations also on these days is designed to maximize frustration of the parents - who are then instructed to take anger management courses if they to in fact get angry.

    Children are enrolled in a mandatory catch-all counselling called 'counselling for children who witness abuse', and these are the lowest qualified people imaginable.

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

    I'm sure many people, who cannot attend the concerts, feel the same.

    It would also be helpful if people were able to pay for the DVD online, either with Paypal or credit card (if the Baynes cannot get a merchant credit card, perhaps someone would let them use their merchant credit card for the purpose of accepting payments for the DVD).

  6. Anonymous said... June 6, 2010 11:10 AM

    I am so sorry you and your family have had to experience this abuse by MCFD and the government. What you write has the ring of truth, and I have heard this same story, repeated in different ways, from parents all over the world.

    All this injustice and pain, and the parents can't even get angry, for if they do, they are further punished. Like being tortured, and then told to smile. Or else. Truly insane.

  7. Regarding fears of surveillance: I would err on the side of caution, as so much is at stake. I do believe the MCFD engages in surveillance - why wouldn't they? - and I have heard they spend a sizeable portion of their budget on this.

    This is from

    "The Informant Network - Feeding the Machine

    A public network of informers reported over 70,000 children and their parents to state children's authorities (DPJ = Children's Aid, CAS, CPS, DSS) in 2005. Tardiness, truancy, illness, cuts, scrapes, dirty dishes, unwashed laundry, politically incorrect books, magazines or pictures are considered valid indicators of child abuse. If a motive or incident is required the claim of possible future emotional or physical abuse is used by social workers to seize children. With no burden of proof required to seize and hold children, DPJ bureaucrats work closely with a corrupt justice system to attack and silence opponents, and to justify funding for expanding budgets."

    The webpage is worth reading as well:

    Here is an excerpt from that page that contradicts someone's claim above (not to worry about surveillance):

    "Recent statistics released by MCFD confirm that expenses incurred in this so-called “after hour support service” constituents over 44% of total child removal costs since 2003.

    This suggests that “child protection” social workers use surveillance extensively. Like other child removal activities, surveillance is another job creation scheme designed to benefit special interest groups under the pretext of “child protection”. "

  8. To CW:

    I am still awaiting your input on MCFD launched surveillance. I suppose that damage control don't work over the weekend. I hope that your superior will not prohibit you from discussing this subject.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

  9. MCFD does not have the resources to employ such surveillance tactics as suggested. Please provide evidence to support your claims. re: surveillance is totally inaccurate. Please provide a different source. "After Hours support services"? Would this not be the province-wide Children's Helpline? Which responds to requests from concerned citizens, professionals, and SW's alike to contact families in evening or weekends. They do not "monitor".

    If you could provide some sort of policy or MCFD-directive - maybe a budget report re: surveillance that'd be appreciated.

    I will point out - teachers are not MCFD watchdogs. They are given the same Handbook for Child Abuse as can anyone else receive or read. In fact, the Vancouver Sun today speaks about how poorly the schools have done in regards to reporting to RCMP or MCFD in the lower mainland of BC.

  10. I know for a fact that the MCFD spends money on investigators because I have been told by reliable sources that they have seen that job position advertised on the MCFD website, and I was advised that there were numerous positions available. It doesn't strike me as plausible that MCFD "has no resources" for investigators. MCFD has resources when they decide they want and need them, and I'm certain they would want investigators to get "evidence" against parents.

    Child Protective Services, wherever they exist, are very fond of claiming they lack funding and / or resources. But they certainly are adept at wasting taxpayer money from what I, and others, have seen.

    I bet that if someone did a search of legal files with the search terms "Ministry of Children" and "investigator" they would get a large number of hits.

  11. CPS services the world over, as are all government funded programs, adept at ill-spending/mismanaging money.

    Show a copy of the job advertisement - burden of proof lay with the accuser.

    Ray Ferris - documented former SW has already stated clearly on this web page that MCFD does not use "spies." All MCFD front line SW's are called "investigators" to one degree or another. This does not equal "sitting plain clothed in a car" (not sure what the SW uniform is other than plain clothed?) or "hacking into emails."

    Ray was also quite right in saying MCFD SW are not competent or adept enough at such surveillance without bungling it up anyway!

  12. Just google:

    ministry of children and family "investigator" child protection jobs

    You'll note that the second link that comes up is a profile of someone who as her profile points out was:

    "Child Protection Investigator at MCFD"

    The first link that comes up is a video about a frauster, Jason Walker, who worked as:

    "Paramedic, Child Protection Investigator, Advisor for the Government of BC (Health Care and Child Welfare), Advisor for the Government of Canada (Department of Justice), Deputy Regional Coroner, Reserve/Auxiliary Constable (Saanich Police) among his many community service roles he is Secretary of the Board for the Boys and Girls Club Services of Victoria, Director of the Board for Greater Victoria Victim Services, and Vice-Chair for the St. John Ambulance."

    It looks like Jason Walker also, in his role as a "psychologist" falsely reported a father for child abuse - he contacted the RCMP and MCFD with this false report. These kind of people have enormous opportunity to abuse enormous power. Sometimes they get caught.

  13. And you don't have to be particularly competent to go around spying on people. In fact, it's probably better - from the MCFD point of view - if you aren't competent. Being incompetent would mean you wouldn't have to be accurate, and MCFD seems to prefer this type of work.

    Even if there are absolutely no real, legitimate investigators, what different does that make, the effect is still the same for parents. They are still subject to a system that doesn't obey the highest law in the land, and they are still subject to a system that abuses their rights and the rights of their children.

    The point is, MCFD has serious, serious problems. MCFD destroys families. Maybe not every single family they deal with. But enough that we should be concerned about.

  14. Erm, CPS - all front line MCFD sw's are "investigators" as I previously mentioned. Its simply the job title.

    I copy and pasted your search and found the below google search results.

    and try this link:

    Couldn't agree more there are cracks in the pavement.

  15. CW,

    Perhaps the MCFD doesn't hire licenced Private Investigators; I thought I had seen ads that seek the same, but perhaps "Investigator" doesn't mean Investigator. The point is, MCFD carries out "investigations" with our tax dollars, said "investigations" being, from what I can see, witch hunts, where the rights of parents and children are trampled. MCFD, just like CPS around the world, appear to be doing more harm than good. And we are paying for it, monetarily and in terms of how it is destroying children, families and society.

    Even if a person knew absolutely nothing about MCFD, it would be fair to deduce that there would be problems, as there always is in any organization where there is so much power and so little accountability. I can't think of any organization that has so much power and is so unaccountable.

    Do you think that at least some of these overzealous child protection investigators do their own P.I. kind of work, regardless of whether or not it is in their job description? From what I have heard, it seems quite possible that they do.

    I wonder how many of these child protection workers have themselves been victims of abuse(not that I think abuse in the general population is so prevalent). Perhaps they seek out jobs which reflect their experience in life, and their experience in life colours how they see everything. They will find what they are looking for it seems, and what they are looking for, always, is child abuse. What they are actually doing is creating child abuse, because even the act of ripping a child from his or her parents (a "removal") must be highly traumatic, and have lifelong consequences.

  16. CPS said: "From what I have heard, it seems quite possible that they do."

    So let me get this straight. From what you have HEARD (not seen), you BELIEVE (but don't know) "overzealous" SW conduct their own "private investigations." Aren't you championing that SW can only remove with medical/visual/verbal evidence? Interesting when you, yourself, maintain a very strong belief based on assumption.

    No "overzealous" SW is conducting after hours investigations such as you suggest. There are after hours SW's asked to visit homes and/or call families at request of day-time SW who carry caseloads. After Hours SW's do not sit outside of homes, or any other such accusation you believe to be true.

    Removing a child, no matter the abuse they incur from their parents, can and likely does cause significant trauma and attachment issues. Couldn't agree more. However, best interest of SOME children demand they can not reside in an abusive situation.

  17. CW,

    I've read enought, and communicated with enough parents, to know that child protective services is out of control, and works hard to keep children from good, loving parents. The Bayne case is nothing special in this regard. Anyone who studies child protective services for any length of time and still defends them is, in my experience, an employee for child protective services, or someone profiting from the system in one way or another. If people who so ardently defend child protective services were so concerned about child abuse, they would start piping up about the horrific abuse of children in foster care, not to mention the abuse which is entailed in the act of removal.

    You sound a tad indignant re: what I claim to have heard and what I believe. But what I have heard or believe, right or wrong, isn't causing children pain and suffering. I wish the same were true regarding child protection workers, and the beliefs, hearsay, or "evidence" they tender to the court in their attempts to keep children from their parents.

    By the way - and you don't have to answer this of course - but do you work for MCFD or have you worked as a child protection worker?


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