Cole Stuart’s Review of Baskerville’s “Taken Into Custody”

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For anyone who hasn’t read Taken into Custody: The War Against Fatherhood, Marriage, and the Family, I just finished it and highly recommend it. Many are familiar with Professor Stephen Baskerville’s basic theories and some have read excerpts from the book. Published in 2007, this book is a comprehensive and up-to-date description of the enormity of the problems endemic to the current tyrannical status of the judicial system as a whole, not merely family court. It is an extraordinary work.


For those of you, like me initially, who have been suspicious that he was another “fathers’ rights” zealot, you should reconsider. Certainly Baskerville takes the position that fathers far more than mothers are the early targets of state intrusion and control (i.e., having their children, assets, freedom, and even lives stripped from them) by the current system. Yet he’s not a “woman-hater.” In fact, he sees the real culprit as an increasingly voracious bureaucracy, including legislators and judges, who have provided irresistible incentives to mothers to initiate divorce proceedings as a first step in a process whereby the state — not mothers — takes control over the children, the family’s assets, and eventually even the mothers. He identifies divorcing mothers as yet one more defrauded victim of the destroyed family.

He’s also different from many leaders in the “fathers rights” groups who more or less “shoot from the hip” with anecdotal evidence of a laundry list of injustices of which they are personally aware. He’s a political scientist — an academic — and has studied the political, legal, and social issues and dramatic changes within those systems extensively. The book contains nearly 1,000 footnotes in its 300 pages, most referencing respected academic texts and journals. As such, he presents a much more sophisticated and comprehensive study and as such makes a far more compelling investigation of how the decay in family court’s respect for the law is directly related to the decay in constitutional government.

He places his analysis in historical context, using many known examples from the terrorist regimes of Nazism, Stalinism, Eastern European tyrants in the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.

Further, unlike the stilted high-brow style prevalent in many academic works, his style is an accessible and indeed thoroughly engaging read.

It is truly the most compelling and troubling read I’ve encountered on the subject.

A few eye-opening excerpts:

It has become commonplace that the family is the building block of civil society, and many have warned that its dissolution portends the destruction of not only social order but civic freedom and, indeed, civilization itself.

The threat [the family] poses to state power need not be explicitly political; against the totalitarian claims of the modern state the ordinary business of family life is a threat. “Marriage is . . . The true reservoir of liberty.”

“Every new marriage of man and woman is also an act of defiance against ambitious political and ideological powers that would reduce human activity to their purposes.” Almost a century ago, G.K. Chesterton suggested that the family serves as the principal check on state power and predicted that someday the state and family would directly confront one another. The argument of this book is that that day has arrived.

Summoning citizens who are charged with no legal wrongdoing and seizing control of their children, homes, property, movements, and persons is not justice or the rule of law. It is something close to terror.

The linchpin in this expansion of government power over private life and politicization of children has been the judiciary, whose own politicization is likewise a phenomenon that accelerated throughout the twentieth century. . . . Yet ironically, the judiciary today has become so politicized that it is itself now widely perceived as the chief violator of the rights it once protected.

It is likely within the next few years that America will face an unprecedented constitutional crisis, as a bureaucratic judiciary aggrandizes to itself ever more powers in contempt of common citizens and as pressure increases on elected officials to impose some limit. Indeed, part of the argument of this book is that this crisis has already manifested itself less in the visible and exalted circles of high judicial politics . . . Than in the humble realm of family court (where it drastically alters the daily and personal lives of millions of citizens).

Baskerville’s conclusions may sound apocalyptic to some. But having studied politics and philosophy, practiced law in numerous state and federal courts, and having been wrung through the family court system for nearly four years, his conclusions are well researched, balanced, and entirely consistent with my 25 years of legal and academic experience. Many of you, like me, have probably shaken your heads at how the decisions of family court make little or no sense, and in fact frequently are plainly harmful to children and parents alike. Professor Baskerville “connects the dots” between family court rules and practices and broader social and political trends toward ever-expanding bureaucracies, infringement on basic rights, and ultimately totalitarian control.

I urge you to purchase and read this very insightful book. It will likely not only help you understand what’s happened to you, is still happening to you, but even worse, how much more damage the government could impose on you if we fail to act now.

About the Reviewer

Cole Stuart is an intellectual property attorney who has worked 15 years in his field. In 2007, his ex-wife, San Diego channel 6 news reporter Lynn Stuart, filed for divorce. As many dishonest and vindictive parents do, she has waged war on her son’s father to destroy a parent/child relationship. Even though Cole Stuart had been in many court rooms in multiple states for more than a decade as a practicing attorney, he had never seen anything like what occurred in the San Diego family law court of convicted drunk driver Judge Lisa Schall. In 2009, he and other victims of San Diego family court abuse banded together to form the California Coalition for Families and Children to oppose misconduct by San Diego judges and “experts” such as Dr. Stephen Doyne. In 2010, he became the target for what appears to be illegal political persecution by Judges Lorna Alksne and Christine Goldsmith and City Attorney Jan Goldsmith in their quest to intimidate and silence critics of the corrupt San Diego family law courts. Cole Stuart knows what abusive government and courts are because he’s personally experienced them.

Further Reading

Stephen Baskerville, PhD: A Site about the Divorce Regime, Family Court Corruption, and Government’s War on Fathers

Married to the State: How government colonizes the family

American Parents, Family Policy, and Courts Contribute to Poor Student Performance

CCFC Family Law Protest in San Diego Results in Arrest of Group Leader

San Diego DA Bonnie Dumanis Attempts to Pervert Justice

Stephen Doyne and San Diego Family Law Courts Under Fire

Father Imprisoned 20 Years on Fake Child Sex Abuse Charges

Many Domestic Violence Temporary Restraining Orders (DV TRO) in the US are Falsely Obtained

Holding Family Law Judges Accountable

Children’s Rights Should Include Life With Both Parents

  1. From Emad Tadros MD
    June 22nd, 2010 at 00:00 | #1

    When I first got involved in the forum of family court I, like most parents dragged into this system, expected justice, fairness, and that courts would respect the law. Every child is taught in school that our nation is founded on Constitutional principles of respect for citizens and limited government intervention. Yet that is not the case in the United States today, particularly in family court.

    Many of the comments I have made here are the result of my efforts to gather information to understand why the family courts are not working as most parents would expect. At CCFC we’ve learned from many parents that courts are not operating to promote their communities and their citizens. Many parents have been broken not only as parents, but as human beings. It is extraordinarily sad to hear how the courts have produced thousands of frustrated, financially broke parents who, before entering this tragically broken system, were effective, functional, and loving parents. After leaving family court their assets are decimated, likely owned by the so called multi-millionaire psychologists, attorneys, and others whom I have called Family Dismantlers.

    Most people don’t understand how the courts, psychologists, and the family court system operators have grown beyond their normal boundaries like a treacherous malignancy. Rather than resolve disputes efficiently, attorneys, courts, and service providers have become quite adept at orienting moms and dads to escalate conflict, setting up every family member, most tragically including the children, for failure, arrests, baseless accusations and on many occasions for the children to be controlled by the state and deprived of their own very loving parents hands.

    The state, acting often on no evidence whatsoever, prefers to traffic children into foster homes instead. By virtue of their baseless and irrational actions, in a very real sense, our state is engaged in kidnapping, child trafficking, and child abuse.

    Why would a state be charged with responsibility for promoting the general welfare and health and safety of its citizens take such action? The answer is simple: As the whistleblower informant in the Nixon Watergate scandal deep-throat said: follow the money. During my years in practice and family court I learned that when the Evaluator (or attorney at the start) fabricates and heats up instability between parents, the court personnel are rewarded with their own “Stimulus-Package” of court-ordered payments taken out of the family’s savings paid to the so-called court ordered NEEDED SERVICES:

    Court-ordered therapists (I use that term with unabashed sarcasm) regularly charge parents $200-$400 per 45 minutes for services to remedy the very havoc the attorneys themselves have engendered, and the courts have utterly failed to resolve. The more time spent fixing a fabricated and desired havoc created by the therapist, the richer the court-ordered therapist becomes. In family court the therapists desire and do attempt to take years and tens of thousands of dollars to resolve what? The problems the attorneys and courts themselves created, and the therapists perpetuate?

    To be fair, the therapists are not the primary culprits of the system that incentivizes aggressive parents to engage in this extremely unhealthy battle is the primary culprit. Parents are told that the system is broken and susceptible to manipulation.

    They’re told that if they don’t strike first then they could be the victims. Like 29th century duelers, they face a terrifying choice, either I take advantage of this easily-manipulated system first, or my ex-spouse will, leaving me broke and childless. Thus the system effectively encourages, perpetuates, and feeds off of practices which are extremely harmful to litigants, their children, and communities. The
    current practices in family court are a shocking offense to the rule of law, community order, our local and national economy, and human rights.

    Parents who had never had problem parenting their own children before divorce once in the family court, are suddenly ordered to pay supervisors $100-$200 per hour just to see their children. Why?
    Because courts are ineffective at accurately evaluating when supervision is truly necessary, and fearing a blemish on their own political record, err on the side of caution by placing parents into a supervision situation at the drop of a hat.

    Yet courts shockingly fail to recognize the clear harm such orders cause by draining parental financial resources, interfering with parent-child relationships, and encouraging abusive parents to use supervision to destroy the relationships between their child and the enemy parent. Often the perceived enemy parent isn’t an enemy at all, but abusive parents driven by their own fears, anger, and aggression, stoked by attorneys and courts are motivated to such actions out of harmful emotions of fear, anger, and vindictiveness. Under supervision, contact with your own children can cost tens of thousands of dollars per year per child. And of course courts are reluctant to remove supervision as abusive parents seek to keep the hurdles in place, the psychologists are eager to pass business off to their regular colleagues in the form of further Court Order Mediators, Case Managers, Special Masters, Reunification Therapists, Evaluators, Exchangers, and others that justifies the family funds to be rechanneled to the Ancillary “SERVICES.”

    And courts are fearful that if they remove supervision their own political careers may be impacted. Results burden the child and parents with costly, always unnecessary, and incontrovertibly supervisors at the parent’s own cost, trouble, and expense further enabling the abusive parent and incentivizing the psychologists, attorneys, and service providers to continue the abuse regardless of its legitimacy.

    Courts regularly appoint Minor’s Counsel to speak for the child even though the child’s best interests are almost universally the same: Unfettered access with both parents. Minor’s counsel, earning $250-300/hr., regularly have little or no real understanding of the child’s needs (and many have never even seen the child), yet are paid handsomely to advocate for the child. In fact, however, they are advocating for their own job security by perpetuating conflict and hence a need for their services.

    Tragically, one of the worst things that could happen to a child (who didn’t hire, doesn’t need, and can’t fire his or her own attorney) is to be appointed someone who doesn’t even know or love them, doesn’t know their parents, needs their money, and is willing to take it to promote their own career. As often as not, minors counsel regularly put liens on the homes of the parents, thereby robbing their own clients of their inheritance and financial future. It is a shocking and despicable practice fraught with conflicts of interest that should never be tolerated by any sane society.

    Reunification Therapists (who are purportedly hired to unify what was dismantled by the court professionals) are equally unnecessary. Courts, rather than simply avoid destroying the family in the first place, order that parents pay such professionals $250-300 a session to help to repair what the courts themselves have destroyed. They often insist on taking many years. The younger the child’s age the bigger the investment size for those professionals. If there was no isolation, there will no job for this job title.

    A Specific Evaluator Court ordered by name who will evaluate, fabricate, intentionally dismantle for months, reevaluate for years at $250-300 an hour and then kickback re-evaluations from other evaluators to un-entangle the havoc each evaluator created, in the first place. Would that fit the criteria of a RACKET?

    A Specific Case Manager and or Special Master is personally court ordered at the same $$ range to do the same. Would you expect anything? I mean anything to EVER be managed?

    In addition many claimed non-existent phone charges amongst the so called specific name court ordered professionals making claims of side talks with each other billing and ripping off the parents thousands of dollars per child, per calendar year!

    San Diego Parents ask me: How much does the San Diego court get $$ compensated monthly from placing every child away from his parents in foster homes? Does anyone know?

    How much the total to the court would be if foster home placements were ordered for many children? Would that be the millions? And if many children were placed for few years, would that be in the tens of millions?

    How much does the court get compensated for issuing restraining orders?

    Evaluator Stephen Doyne is a good product and live example of our San Diego County Courts. Does this fake credentialed Stephen Doyne, phd, whom his judicial election donations remain secret and not publicly divulged, get his recommendations practically rubber stamped by the judges?

    Why the Evaluator creates a havoc to successfully split between parents, fabricating the so-called professional recommendations, thereby creating justification for the court to rubberstamp his referrals to only a specific names of court professionals but not others in the community while in-fact those community’s ones carry REAL SPECIALTY CERTIFICATION credentials?

    IS there a secret code or hidden language amongst the limited by names court ordered professionals?

    Or is it because corrupt professionals do not wish be uncovered and be figured out by such real caliber certified professional colleagues of how unprofessional they can be?

    Would a good parent need the imaginary Evaluator’s and/or ancillary services? What would be the financial consequences on the Court appointed “SERVICES” when stating the truth about a fit parent?

    Would the result of stating the truth about how good and loving and of a parent he/she is, cause this specifically named Court Ordered professionals by the judge(s) be broke? Yes or No?

    Are these Election donations creating injustice, unfairness and inequity leading to such cesspool fake fraudulent fabricating un-professionals pirating the innocent citizens and their family assets?

    Do we have a subtle system that would cause the Kids Funds and family retirement and assets be siphoned down to nothing by such court dismantlers? And Why?

    Final question, When the Court lacks to condition its professional qualifications to the real and well respected actual specialty boards, why does the court still limit its court orders against the trusting and innocent families by specifying the order to such deceiving and SPECIFIC NAMES?

    Should we call this Justice or Racketeering?

    Cole, I have no doubt in my mind that your intelligence was able to very easily see through this Chronic Judicial Fraud and CCFC is proud of you. Your intelligence is striking, giving families and children many hopes and only causing the fraudulent(s) to be on the run. You are well balanced, sensible, respectful and your approaches are professional. You can read others well and your approach is very skilled to all of us to act in the most professional way approaching our San Diego County Courts from fostering any fraudulent behavior and/or violating California Rules of the Court that have been already violated by our County Courts from 2001 till end of 2009. Your fervor is needed to aid those unfairly court ordered moms and dads and their innocent suffering children. Time is on “the justice to prevail side” and I am confident that as we continue to blow the Justice-Horn, fraud associates will vanish and IT IS MATTER OF TIME.

    We are proud of you and Professor Baskerville whom both figured out those Family Dismantlers who operate by simply uncovering their “Legal-Art-of-Non-Sense” funneling it down to fuel a High Conflict between moms and dads and victimize the children.

    Wake up moms and dads. I do see every parent who continues to utilize the dismantlers’ services as naive and not being able to see the overall picture, yet. Since when the dismantlers care about your child? If that is the case, would those multi-millionaires do it for free? … The dismantlers can read you better than you think….

    You do need to get down to the level of your innocent child’s heart desires and struggling mind, before it is too late suffering a product of a victimized child on your hands who would need more of their SERVICES. If you taught your child directly or indirectly to disfavor the other parent; your child will grow to learn how to hate, Period. Eventually you yourself will be added to your child’s hateful mind orchestrated by those clever Family Dismantlers.

    If you could not make a homerun in your marriage, strike by the closest you can. This can only be accomplished by peace, love, admiration and respect to each other parent, regardless. Be a good example to your own kids. When you read Baskerville and uptoparents.org, you all parents will realize that you have to lead each other in the most loving and respectful direction of your own suffering child’s mind “I love mom and dad equally” to take the control out of the frauds who are only focused on getting your monies and never your own Child’s Best Interest.

    Uptoparents.org: “Tell your child of 10 good things about the other parent. Go down to day one of how you both started and give your child the priority and not your own.

    I personally believe that it is never how bad mom or dad is. It is how clever the ancillary destructive services parent to keep parents in the ring, fighting.

    Undue pride, fabrication by parents as being guided by the dismantlers, justify the court dismantlers to come back full circle to fuel leaching on everything you own down to the bone. Ask yourselves: Did I love mom more or dad more or both were 100% loved but just different?

    Your child is not any different and this is what your child thinks. Both parents need to help your children “with their innate needs” and never our own. A child reared by one parent is never healthier than a child reared by both parents, regardless of what the dismantlers falsify! Would one parent be in the child’s best interest? It is in-fact the child’s worst interest!

    Child’s best interest is the mantra that such fraudulent misleading San Diego County Continuing Legal Educator teacher, Resume Repeated Fraud, Stephen Doyne phd, who publicizes to own Diplomate certification when in-fact he purchased a useless piece of paper over the internet for $350 to lull the judges, deceive the attorneys and intimidate the naïve average public. He purchased it the same owner of this Diploma-Mill who sold a Diploma to Zoe the cat.

    Google Expertise to GO the Print by Mark Hansen & Professor Carolyn Henderson Scientific Evidence Review and Expert Witness Testimony in the Court Room page 7 & 8 & the Credentialing Con. The truth, logic and science speak for itself here.

    Thank you and wish both parents of every child the very best for your child’s endeavors.

    Emad Tadros, M.D.
    Diplomate American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
    Co-Founder California Coalition for Families and Children/CCFC

  2. karen
    May 14th, 2011 at 16:27 | #2

    Its all true child private court all illegle private courts.My daugter asked for there help.what a mistake that was. they took one child out of her four we fought 50,000 dollars, we proved each aligation false. but in the private court where the judge sleeps they prevailed no constitutional rights,no public to hear.no attorny you can hire the has not been hired secretly by them all in there favor,lies up held in there favor. court date after court date waisting the unsupecting tax payers money, bonuses paid …mothers and fathers distroyed..A child taken 18 years later facebook he’s found he was told his mother didn’t want him at birth.he’s been kept a prisoner. Raised in a cage assigned rooms there collecting money from his asperger’s still, adult adoption.They monitor all internet communication still. We were military for 26 years could have given him the best like are other 12 grandchildren all desent kids raised up happy adults they screwed him up.we searved this discusting country.AND THEY STILL GET AWAY WITH IT .MONEY AND LIES

  3. karen
    May 14th, 2011 at 17:12 | #3

    DSHS is the one scewing up medicare and the Oboma health thing was written by them for them to extract more. the amount of money given to there needles programs and young americans told there disabled make me fill like vomiting. In are town you see there dshs valtures at Safeway with there cart full of wine bottles so they can live with themselves.Getting into there fancy cars.going to there fancy homes all bought and paid for from there most fraudulant adoption money scemes. They use the media to blow up the few bad cases to make the public believe that they are doing them a service, protection the children SOUNDS GOOD DOESN’T IT. EVEN THERE USING HOLLYWOOD TO SCARE US INTO THINKING ALL MEN MOST WOMEN ARE KILLERS,CHILD MOLESTERS.. I believe the are creating them and the drug problems.I bet alot of them are using the bad drugs comming into this country so they can live with themselve they certinly can aford it.THE BIBLE SAYS DO NOT JUDGE other what happens to us after being put to there indecent treatment we are turning into an ugly hateful population looks at the revenge everywhere from the greed . Right or wrong men should take back there rightful poistions inthe home without outside interferance, women need to stay home and get out of others business. Women are clever in there homes made to take care of there homes not goverment&world the bible tells you so.DSHS has written the new rules to make all men greer cause they say there better fathers THEY WROTE THESE NEW RULES I READ THEM ON THE INTERNET BEFORE THEY STOP ARE INTERNET FREEDOM .LOOK AT THE CATHLIC CHURCH AND WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO THESE YOUNG BOYS.SIC

  4. karen
    May 14th, 2011 at 17:25 | #4

    I NOW BELIEVE WE DON’T NEED GOVERMENT AT ALL .WE NEED ARE CONSITUTION AND RIGHT’S RESTORED GUN RIGHT’S.stopworking grow are gardens stop giving the the power to them to distory america. EVEN IF SOME ARE NOT GOOD PARENT why distroy the whole bunch to save a few stop working give no more distroy the dollar is my stand.MOVE TO A FARM HELP FOR FREE MOVE OUT OF THE DISMAL CONTROL

  5. karen
    May 14th, 2011 at 17:43 | #5

    AMERICA, WAKEUP GROW UP, WE CAN FEED AND GAS UP WITHOUT THE GOV.AND OTHER COUNTRYS WE CAN BUILD ARE ROADS AND VOLINTEER TO DO THE OIL DRILLING, TRADE WITH IN ARE COUNTRY FEED ARE SELFS HELP EACH OTHER. THE POOR WON,T LOSE. JUST THE RICH WILL LOSE THERE MONEY IF THE DOLLAR DROPS. WE CAN DO IT.WE ARE AMERICAN’S .GET RID OF THE LAWS STOPPING ARE MEN FROM SMALL BUSSINESS QUIT THE INSURANCE COMPANYS THAT COST SMALL BUSINESS TO MUCH AND THE COURTS SUEING AND TAKING CHILDREN LIKE THERE BETTER QUILIFIED THE BLOOD. FOR GODS SAKE THERE IS NATURAL HEALTH HERBS PEOPLE DO DIE YOU CAN’T LIVE FOR EVER LET GO OF IMMORTALITY BE HUMAN AGAIN .STOP IT

  6. karen
    May 14th, 2011 at 17:46 | #6

    THERE IS NO GOOD OBOMA CARE JUST MORE CONTROL FOR DSHS AND THE DRUG COMPANYS

  7. karen
    May 14th, 2011 at 17:59 | #7

    EVERYONES CELLS GET FULL OF TOXINS AND CHEMICALS AND WILL CAUSE MENTAL PROBLEMS LIKE KING GEORGE AND HIS PORPHRIA ,IF YOUR NOT EATTING NATURAL GOOD FOOD. THE DRUG COMPANYS ARE MAKING SOMBIES OUT OF ARE CHILDREN AND TURNING US INTO A CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT THESE BAD DRUG. IT IS UGLY OUT THERE FOR SURE DEPRESSING…THAT IS WHY THEY DONT WANT THE HARMLESS NATUAL CANABUS LEGIZED CAUSE THEY WANT THE DIRTY DRUGS IN YOUR CELLS TO CAUSE YOU MENTAL ILLNESS SO THEY HAVE TO CONTROL AND TAKE CARE OF YOU. SO THEY CAN MAKE US SLAVES TO THEM MONEY

  8. karen
    May 14th, 2011 at 18:48 | #8

    LOOK UP PORPHIRA THE CELLS~ MIRSA~HEPITITUS~MENTAL PROUBLEMS ALL CAUSED FROM THE CRAP FILLING UP THE CELLS.
    ITS NOT THE CARTEL,IRAG, AFGAFISTAN,GADOFIE,PAKISTAN, THAT WE HAVE SHOVED DOWN ARE THROATS ON A DAILY BASIS SO WERE SO CONFUSED WE DON’T SEE WHAT HAPPENING TO THE CONSTITUTION AND BIBICAL WAYS.
    THEY ALL WANT TO BE THE STARS THE CONTROLERS.THEY WILL DO ANYTHING FOR THE JOBS AND POLITICAL SPOTS SO THEY CAN FILL GIFTED AND ABOVE THE REST.THATS THE TRUTH THEY ARE US IF GIVEN THE POSITION GREED THAT WAY IS WHAT IS SPOKEN IN THE BIBLE THAT ARE COUNTRY &CONSTITUTION WAS BASED ON BUT WITHOUT THOSES MEN MEN IN THE HOME THE HOME IS DISTROYED BY THE WAY I AM A WOMAN AND ITS IMPORTANT FOR MOTHER TO TEACH THERE DAUGHTER TO BECAREFUL OF WHOM THEY MARRY

  1. July 10th, 2010 at 00:41 | #1
  2. September 26th, 2010 at 04:49 | #2
  3. May 19th, 2012 at 03:33 | #3
  4. July 1st, 2012 at 19:55 | #4
  5. October 3rd, 2012 at 02:31 | #5
  6. March 12th, 2014 at 00:41 | #6
  7. May 14th, 2016 at 23:41 | #7

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