Friday, July 10, 2015

More on the Tsimonhi children and "jail"...

According to this article, the Tsimonhi kids, who were all over the news yesterday for being "jailed" over not having lunch with their father, are not in a lockdown facility.  I'm certainly relieved to read that they aren't mingling with kids who have been in trouble with the law or have serious emotional problems.  Instead, they are being housed at Mandy's Place, which while still an institutional setting, is much more homelike than jail is.

I have read several articles about this case and it's beginning to sound more and more like a case of parental alienation.  While I still think it was wrong for the judge to basically incarcerate these kids, I also realize that if this is really a PAS situation, it's imperative that the kids get away from the source of the alienation.  If they would willingly choose going to a shelter over sharing a simple meal with their father in a courthouse, where they would certainly be protected from any "violent" proclivities he might have, the alienation must be especially serious.

It always disturbs me to read comments on stories like this one.  So many people are quick to take the mother's side and assume that the father is a monster.  So many people think that because the kids refuse to see their dad that he is automatically guilty of what he's been accused of doing.  It disturbs me even more that so many people think parental alienation is not a real thing.  Folks, Bill and I have lived it.  It's almost uncanny how alienating parents operate.  It's like they have a script.

That being said... I can't imagine that putting the kids in a shelter will do much more than alienate the kids even more.  They did defy a judge's direct order, though, and I suppose there has to be consequences for that.  I'm not sure what other punishments would have been available.

I also take issue with the way the judge spoke to the children.  Much was made about her comments about Charlie Manson's cult.  I can sort of see why she mentioned that, because children being programmed and "brainwashed" by an alienating parent are sort of in a cult.  I have often compared Bill's ex wife to a cult leader.  Being subjected to severe parental alienation is akin to being in a cult.  So, I think that was why the judge mentioned Manson... although the kids probably have no idea who he is.

I actually had a teacher in high school who grew up near where the Manson murders took place in 1968.  He had us watch the movie, Helter Skelter, and take a test about the case.  It wasn't until many years later that I learned about cult indoctrination, though.  I don't think the Tsimonhi kids know anything about cults or Manson, so her comments may have been confusing to them and to a lot of other people in the public.  It did seem to me that the judge let her emotions get the better of her.  Her comments seem over the top, especially to the public, who are just becoming aware of this case.

Judge Lisa Gorcyca supposedly is well known for having a "pleasant" disposition.  My guess is that she finally reached the end of her patience, since it sounds like these folks have appeared before her many times.  I doubt the action she took came before many other attempts to solve the problems this family is experiencing.  I think it's sad when judges are forced to intervene and make orders affecting families.  That is a relationship that should not involve state officials.  However, having done more reading about this case, I can see why it's come to this.  It's not like they weren't warned.  In March, the judge ordered the mother and kids to tour Children's Village and made them spend two full days in her courtroom and half a day in another judge's courtroom, probably to give them a chance to see how things can get distorted in divorce and custody cases.

Frankly, I think if anyone should be in custody, it should probably be the children's mother.  If it's proven that she has been psychologically abusing the children and interfering with their relationship with their father, she should be the one who is punished.

I am sure more will come out about this case as time passes and we'll learn more about what has actually been happening.      


  1. It's not clear whether it's about pas or violence, but in either case the children are the victims If the problem is pas then it's the mother who's at fault and who should have been punished, not the children.


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