Friday, December 17, 2010

OBSCENITY / Part 401 / For Love and For Justice / Zabeth and Paul Bayne

What has been done to Zabeth and Paul Bayne is disgustingly abhorrent. It's obscene.

Alright, some readers, particularly those who have experienced the horrific removal of their children for brief or lengthy periods of time, have not been pleased with my occasional portrayal of the well intentioned service side of social work and child welfare. I have been fair and balanced. There is good that is accomplished. Enough!

Enough! Social workers, some of your colleagues and supervisors are out of control. Their ethical compasses are broken. They have abandoned their heart for the work and relied upon the letter of the law. They treat people as files upon which the drawer can be closed at will, rather than human beings with faces and entire lives. They ignore the comprehensive impact their actions are having and will have upon people's futures. Happiness, hopes and dreams get shattered irreparably by the decisions of parties outside the family circle. Best interests are confused.

What is being done to Zabeth and Paul Bayne is disgustingly abhorrent. It's offensive, detestable. I don't care whether the argument is, “Well, it's our job,” or “We are mandated to insure the safety of the child.” How much insensitivity, inhumanity, can be demonstrated by one chapter of MCFD against one family?

For over three years with some very notable abusive events this couple against whom there has never been any evidence, but solely on the basis of suspicion and reprisal, have endured a degree of scrutiny and humiliation and intimidation that cries out like a human rights violation story. Now, while a court case initiated by the MCFD to remove their three children forever is still pending a judicial ruling, a mother and her unborn fourth child are being subjected to indecent threats and stress. Indecent I say, because presented as genuine interest in the welfare of a child that has not yet been born, proffering hypothetical, unspecified and unnecessary services to the parents for the new child when it arrives, there are cloaked threatening terms that become menacingly dangerous to a women whose pregnancies are historically fragile. That's what is taking place. “If you don't meet with us to talk about our involvement with you and your new child, then....”

Prematurity has characterized the other three births. MCFD knows this. The Director knows this. Mom has been ordered to remove and reduce stress from her life. She is only weeks away from her due date, and can you imagine what it must be like to put your head on the pillow each night with a frightful vision of social workers removing the baby from you at the hospital?

That's what's going on here! Somebody, make it stop! God, make this stop!


  1. I am continually DISGUSTED by the MCFD in the upper fraser valley. This is my community where this has all gone down,... I'm embarrassed to say the least. A girl left for NINE days with her dead mother when she should have been removed long before, THIS case, what's next? Time for some answers as to the inconsistencies and incompetence (in my opinion of course) in the MCFD! They may not have to answer to anybody up the ranks, but they will (one day) have to answer to a Higher authority.(those of you who have any regard for God know what I'm talking about) Enough already!

  2. Would it be feasible for supporters of the Baynes to be in attendance at the hospital, to lend their peaceful support, and to show the world that these parents, and others like them, have the support of the community? I don't mean in the actual delivery room, just there to show support in the waiting room, or around the hospital?

    If there is an apprehension of the baby, supporters can be ready to speak with the media, and even apprise the media beforehand that this is a possibility.

    This can all be done in a non-obstructive, law abiding manner.

  3. To 8:53 AM
    The Baynes should call that one I think. Initially it sounds like an invasion of their privacy. I understand your desire to support and I hear the peaceful nature of supporter presence. Baynes' lives have been a horror show and I wouldn't like to see the new birth become a circus.

  4. Alison was quite correct yesterday. It is not legally possible to re-apprehend a child, or to terminate a return under supervision, without a return to court. A social worker would be derelict in his/her duty, if a child was knowingly left in danger. Judges sometimes goof and return children against the evidence. I already covered the case of a judge returning a child to a high risk situation on the grounds of a technicality and he got roundly chastised by the appeal court. I remember once in the Victoria court a case came up and the judge reclused himself from the case with some apparent agitation. This was a bi of a nuisance, because he did 90% of the family cases. I went to see him in chambers and asked him why he would not hear the case. He said it was because it was his most monumental goof, returning the child against the evidence. When I assured him that the case was uncontested, he agreed to hear it. One of the points I made yesterday was that too many judges are laissez-faire in the way they allow social workers to manipulate the court system and the effect is the same as if the social workers had more power than the court.
    Non-oppressive social work is the latest in a long line of theoretical and philosophical ideologies that have swept through social work schools. I first heard of it at a BCASW branch meeting about 10 years ago. A Uvic prof and some senior students came to tell us all about it. Most of the social workers there were a fairly benign middle-aged bunch and they listened politely, but were having difficulty seeing themselves as oppressors.
    When I first came to BC in 1957 all the social work schools and their graduates were steeped in Freudian psychlogical theory. When I was at London University, I was privileged to attend lectures by the great research psychologist H.J Eysenck. He was debunking Freudian theory in 1951 or 1952. He greatly influenced English thinking. When I started work in this province I was rather surprised to find that Freud was God and to question his teaching was akin to blasphemy. I kept my trap shut until I got my permanent appointment. So entrenched did Freudian psychology become in the North American psyche, that it was not until the 1990s that insurance companies delisted psycho-analysis as a valid therapy and would not longer accept billing for it.
    Not only was this teaching unhelpful but it was actually harmful. In the field the staff seemed to think that the way to get people out of poverty was to give them a psychic retread. At the childrens aid society it was unthinkable to remove a child from a high risk home. Give the parents a psychic retread. Who is to do it? we only had one psychiatrist and he was trained in England so he was not a Fruedian. Fortunately even some of the Freudian workers could see that if a destitute family had ran out of fuel in the middle of winter that counseling was not going to turn the heat back on. They would have to go and hassle City Welfare for a fuel overage. If anyone needed a psychic retread it was the obdurate head of City Welfare.

  5. Non oppressive social work continued.
    In the following years numerous pieces of popular psychology fascinated the schools of social work. Reality therapy, tranactional analysis and so on. They often had elements akin to Freudian ideas, but with new terminology. Then we had various family systems theories by different gurus. The point was that the social work schools began to instil the ideas into the minds of graduates that there were no unfit parents. All child removals were a failure of counselling and resourcing. There was a constant search for the mythical ideal resource which would make all children safe at home.
    Along with the benign pop psychology developed some very destructive ones. It had become acceptable for people who had suffered childhood sexual abuse to talk about it and to seek counselling. Society was at first a bit shocked. The next step for sexual abuse counsellors was to develop the idea that many more people had been sexually abused than were coming forward and they had repressed the painful memories. Then arose recovered memory counselling and thousands of people began to remember things that never happened. That atrocious book by Bass and Davis--"Courage to Heal" sold over a million copies and was in all university libraries. At the same time the very fine book by Dr. Tana Dineen called "Manufacturing Victims" which was a sound professional work, nearly got her lynched. Another offshoot of recovered memory counselling was recovering memories of satanic ritual abuse. Before recovered memory counselling and satanic abuse counselling were debunked they had ruined many lives. People had been jailed and released and therapists sued for millions. At the same time, other counsellors were claiming to assist children to reveal sexual abuse at home. A cult of coercive counselling arose and accusations spread and spread. In Martnsville Sask. the false accusations got the whole police force charged along with many others. More cases became so ridiculous that they could not be sustained.
    Many children were removed from home with no real evidence and judges were so inclined to be politically correct that they forgot all about the rules of evidence. Protection workers did not pursue cases on the gounds of evidence but on category. Any whisper of sexual abuse was pursued with fiendish determination, but in cases where there was glaring evidence of neglect and abuse it was ignored.
    The code of ethics of the American Psychologists association (APA)states that "members shall vend no therapy that has not met the test of research and peer approval." This would disqualify most of the pop psychology that has swept through the professions. The research psychologists got into a prolonged war with the clinical psychologists over claimed breaches of ethics. People did not like their revenue being threatened. On the whole the professional bodies in BC took a passive view, neither condoning nor condemning any of these practices until it was safe to do so. I did not notice anything coming out of the social work schools.

  6. Non-oppressive social work continued.
    I do not think that we need a theory of counselling or psychology to justify a social work education However, I do think that it is important to understand our social value systems and to know how to be guided by those values. Social value systems such as respect for the rule of law, fairness, distributive justice and caring for the underprivileged. Knowledge. Knowledge of relevant laws and social structures and knowledge of social resources. We also need knowledge of the limitations of counselling and resourcing. Let me give you and example. It is often pronounced that poverty is a major cause of child negect. However, if we look at the bottom 20% percent of income recipients in society we find that only about ten percent of them ever have children admitted to care. Another way to put it is that 90% of poor people give adequate care to their children, so poverty is not really such a reliable indicator of neglect. This provides a potent argument for raising the icome of the ninety percent who will make good use of it. Clearly other factors than poverty are at work and more money may not help. My point here is to illustrate the need for rigour and critical thinking. What seems like a self-evident truth one minute may not be able to stand up to a piece of simple research. The profession of social work has never been strong on critical thinking and could probably benefit from training in logic and statistics and methods of analysis. Surely they need to know the difference between process and outcome?
    Is non-oppressive social work a philosophical statement based on social values? Does it claim a system theory? Is it based on any reasonable research? Is it just another version of the old "society is to blame" cry. Is it just going to be another reason to evade assertive intervention cases of serious child abuse?
    There was an article in todays Times Colonist by the former director of a contract counselling agency. In decrying budget cuts, he asked how can they do the job with reduced staff. How can we provide counselling to families where the children are at serious risk? There are families with serious addiction problems and all sorts of othe risk factors. We will soon have another Matthew Vaudreuil or another Sherry Charlie he exclaimed. Such nonsense. Children who are in serious risk situations should be removed and any counselling the famiies should be done while the children are in a safe place. Why do we squander resources on teaching penguins to fly? There is no research to show that counselling has any effect on seriously dysfunctional families at all. Matthew Vaudreuil was a graphic illustration of the futility of this approach. At the same time time they spare no expense persecuting the Baynes. Process without outcome again. Both are examples of oppressive social work. One oppresses two loving parents. The othe oppresses children by condemning them to live with unfit parents.

  7. To Anon December 17, 2010 8:53 AM
    Re: the well meant suggestion of supporters attending at the hospital. Our advisors suggest that this should not occur. Thank you nonetheless for the good support you are showing for the Baynes.

  8. Ray,

    Thank you for that excellent summary on how the abuse / victim industry has evolved and how it has led to the current state of affairs.

  9. Ditto to 8:59 AM and the commendation to Ray about his exhaustive expose. Great writing Ray from a strong background of experience.


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