From: "Robert G.J. Bouvier" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "Ferrel Christensen" <email@example.com>
Subject: FW: National Post "story"
Date: Thu, 22 Mar 2001 15:33:14 -0700
X-MimeOLE: Produced By Microsoft MimeOLE V5.50.4133.2400
I didn't see you on the cc list. In response, I have simply asked her not
to cc me on any further correspondence.
Robert G.J. Bouvier
Willowglen Systems Inc.
Total SCADA Solutions
http://www.willowglen.ca Tel: +1 (780) 465-1530 CANADA T6E 4Y5
firstname.lastname@example.org Fax: +1 (780) 465-0130
Sent: March 22, 2001 12:48 PM
To: [This is the e-mail to whose list of six dozen recipients I subsequently copied my e-mail responding to the reporter. For many of those recipients, their only contact with ECMAS was the support meeting, where they were promised their privacy would be protected. Thus, the names have been deleted here.] [Next]
Subject: Re: National Post "story"
I am going to briefly respond to former ecmas president Carolyn Vanee's
comments below. It is truly heartbreaking to me that the ecmas
organization, which has such a noble and respected history in fighting for
the falsely accused and for the people of family court, has come to this.
Ms. Vanee suggests that my efforts to bring some issues to public attention
is vindictive action on my part, taken because of my hatred for Ferrel
I, too, have explored this, and indeed, tried to walk away from the problems
for several months. The fact is, when I dislike someone, I am historically
inclined to ignore or avoid them, and that is certainly what I did with Mr.
Christensen. Following our dispute in early October 2000, I stopped going
to weekly support group meetings, as I did not want to bring our conflict
into the room. The last ecmas meeting I attended was in November of 2000,
however, I did attend the March election meeting as I had paid dues and was
entitled to vote. My hope was that new leadership would be elected that
would have the will to address the serious concerns that had come to my
attention, but that was not to be.
It is not animosity which spurred me to action, but rather, my duty as a
family advocate, my duty to the desperate people who are experiencing the
hell of family court. Upon discovery of further problems in January of this
year, my eight years of commitment to this constituency would not allow me
to simply walk away, which would have been far easier for me. There are two
issues of very serious concern. In the first place, I have studied a book
written by Mr. Christensen entitled "Pornography: the other side". This
book aims to prove that all pornography, and the desires that under lie
them, are good and natural. Now, what two or more adults do is of no
concern to me, but what is very troubling in this book is that Mr.
Christensen can at no time bring himself to say that sex with children is a
bad thing. On the contrary, this book attempts to say that sex in childhood
is good, depriving children of sex is bad, and even coercing children into
sex is no worse than depriving children from having sex. These views are
very troubling to me, and I believe that they have no place in an
organization that frequently speaks on behalf of the falsely accused and the
divorcing community. It troubles me that Mr. Christensen attends every
monthly meeting of ecmas, attends every weekly support group meeting,
comments on every issue raised there, and no one seems aware of his
troubling views. You cannot legitimately speak on behalf of the falsely
accused while holding the belief that sex in childhood is a good thing. And
I feel that the desperate people looking for help should at least be aware
of Mr. Christensen's views so they can make an informed decision about
accepting his help. [Next]
The second major problem is the fact that Mr. Christensen frequently
recommends that people fire their attorneys, hire Mr. Adams to develop
their legal documents, and represent themselves in court. Mr. Christensen
further has always insisted that no support group meeting can take place
without the attendance of Mr. Adams, and has vigorously opposed the
establishment of a second support group meeting because Mr. Adams cannot
attend. Again, I do not know Mr. Adams well, and have no personal opinion
about him. Nevertheless, it troubles me that Mr. Adams was disbarred
because he pleaded guilty to charges arising from his decision to have sex
with his sixteen year old client, who was a prostitute. Further conflict is
the fact that he also represented her incarcerated boyfriend at the time.
While I wish Mr. Adams well, it is my view that he should not be providing
services to the divorcing community for that reason.
I have received numerous calls recently asking why I did not let the
organization deal with these problems internally, rather than go public with
my concerns. The answer is that I tried repeatedly to convey my concerns to
the leadership of ecmas, and the response of the group was to allow Mr.
Adams to stand as vice-president, and to vote him in to that office. I was
also asked not to discuss the issues further with them. This did not convey
to me any sense that ecmas was prepared to address these problems.
Subsequent to the election, Mr. Adams not only attended but chaired the
first support group following the vote. In addition, I informed the
president Bob Bouvier, as well as other leaders in ecmas, about these
concerns, and I respectfully suggested that if these secrets came out it
would destroy the credibility of the organization. I further advised that I
was not prepared to keep their secrets for them. Frankly, if you have
secrets like these, the best thing you can do is deal with them, make them
disappear, and it is illegitimate to ask me or anyone else to keep your
secrets and allow ecmas to continue to provide this low quality of service
to the family court community. The response of the organization was to vote
Mr. Adams in as vice-president.
Now that the threat of public attention to these issues is imminent,
everyone says, why didn't you give us a chance to deal with it? And instead
of being concerned about these issues in and of themselves, ecmas members
and others dismiss my concerns as sour grapes or revenge on my part.
Perhaps I should remind everyone that it is no easy thing to stand up for
principle, but I could not call myself a family advocate if I were to allow
this organization to continue on its current path, where desperate people
turn for help, and do nothing. In addition, I have established that I will
not represent anyone who is an active member of merge, ecmas or gief as an
advocate, and I have quietly withdrawn from three cases who are active
members. I do this to protect my own credibility from being drawn into
these conflicts in the future. You attack the messenger, but do nothing to
address the concerns that have been raised.
I will close by saying that a media story might not be done if these issues
are dealt with. I am no less saddened by the fact that ecmas, a well
regarded family rights organization, has allowed itself to be overtaken by
these upsetting sexual problems. I would speculate that 99.9% of the popula
tion does not agree that sex in childhood is good. No falsely accused would
ever want to be associated with an organization who is not concerned about
these problems, nor should they, for they may even be harmed by the
association. The last thing I wanted was to be the person, after being in
the city only six months, who would uncover these problems and be the only
one concerned about addressing them. Unfortunately, ecmas has chosen the
easier route of simply ignoring the problems and moseying on in the fashion
they have been for the past year or so. I have gone through a searing self
examination to determine whether my personal views have coloured my
commitment to action in this regard, and all I know is that this is not
easy, it is not fun, and I wish someone other than me had the courage to do
it. It would have been much easier to simply ignore you, as Parents Helping
Parents can function without your support, as frequent media reports
concerning the success of my work will attest to.
Ultimately, my conscience would not allow me to walk away. There are people
being destroyed in family court every day, desperate people who have spent
their life savings to maintain ties with the children they love, and others
who have been falsely accused of sexually abusing children. These people
don't need to be hurt again by the family rights community that they turn to
Parents Helping Parents
----- Original Message -----
From: C Vanee
To: Louise ; [As above, the other names originally listed have here been deleted.]
Sent: Thursday, March 22, 2001 9:52 AM
Subject: Re: National Post "story"
This is a copy of what I have sent to Donna Lafromboise at the National
Post. If you have questions you can email me.
As per our telephone conversation yesterday I thought that I would get back
to you with an email. I was suprised with the information that you gave me
regarding ECMAS but I think that they have tried to rectify the situation as
best they can. ECMAS is a good organization with a hard fought reputation
for work in the area of reforming family law in this country. I feel that
what has transpired may have been exaggerated by some individuals. I would
hate to see years of hard work ruined by this one instance. While we don't
condone what President Clinton did, we could not say that the whole USA was
a write off, and I think that the same is true of this. I feel that many
members of the ECMAS organization could be hurt by what has transpired.
They are almost all in some way engaged in their own court cases and this
could hurt all of them and their children. They are also all volunteers of
their time, energy and money with no help from any outside agency. I hope
that you will thouroughly reasearch this and confirm the "facts" with all
parties involved before you print a story. My understanding is that the
person who led you to this "story" may not be as altruistic as you think.