M J in Wonderland: A Nine Year Old Girl Living Underground in Oregon
This is the story of my encounter with a young girl and her mother who were hiding from Michigan CPS. I was one of the advocates who helped shelter them in Oregon. Their August 10 capture was featured on Portland Indymedia a month or so ago.
M J in Wonderland: a 9 Year Old Girl Living Underground in Oregon
On around February 7, 2005, I was called upon to help a family in distress up in Washington. They needed to be rescued. I decided to use my "don't ask don't tell" policy, and pretend they were running from domestic violence. Because I have my daughter living with me, I don't normally help shelter families hiding from CPS, but because of the desperate nature of this situation, I reluctantly went to fetch the mother and daughter in Vancouver.
The mother swaggered over with a smug look on her face. Something told me I was stepping into a bad situation, and I had an instinct to lay rubber out of the Denny's parking lot before I even said hello. But I could not do that. Here was a mother and child, on the run, stranded. Even if they were bad news, I felt it unconscionable to just leave them standing there. Besides, I thought, maybe she is just nervous about trusting a new person, she'll be fine once they get in the car.
I introduced myself, and asked if she was "Anne". I think the Anne thing came from Nancy, the Michigan advocate who asked me to help the mother and daughter. Anyway "Anne" stuck. I was introduced to the little girl by her real name, which I will not disclose in this story. I will refer to her by the underground name she made up for herself, "M J".
Little M J, who looked younger than her almost 10 years, started immediately telling me about her baby starfish, right there in the parking lot, as we were preparing to move their things. I had never heard of baby starfish, so we had to have a conversation about this before moving their things from one car to another. M J became the immediate focus of attention and diffused any negative energy coming from the mom, who I kept reminding myself, must be under incredible stress.
I told the mom if I was in her situation, with CPS hunting my kid, I would have done the same thing she did. After some quick mini bonding, I was feeling good about the situation. We drove to Freddy's to get some groceries. I asked M J what she liked for cereal and got her whatever she asked for.
I took M J and Anne in with the understanding they would be staying at the Weidner residence, to help look after Roger Weidner's 95 year old mom. I had decided, even before I realized the mom was not someone I could tolerate having around, that I would not put my daughter at risk by housing any underground families. After shopping, I drove them to my house, parked the loaded car in the garage, and took them inside to show them their room for the night, and explain where I would be taking them the next day. I asked M J if she would like to help me make cupcakes to sweeten up Mrs. Weidner when introducing them to her.
M J discovered I had a watercolor paint set and immediately became very involved in making her own paintings. She was very talented, very imaginative. (I still have many of her paintings, some of which I wanted to give to the mom before she left, but because of some real animosity that developed between me and Anne, that visit never happened.)
It was going to be Valentines Day soon, so we made chocolate cupcakes, with pink peppermint butter cream frosting. M J was really not much help with the cupcakes. She was too busy playing with Sgt Pepper, our cat, and making beautiful paintings.
When the cupcakes were ready, we drove over to Mrs. Weidner's house. Roger was in jail again for contempt of court for speaking on in the Wishon case. (See "Patricia Wishon", "Roger Weidner", "Claude Ingram" "Deschutes County"). I was able to communicate with Roger via Patricia, and he had agreed to have this family move in to take care of his mother. It seemed like a good arrangement on both ends. I could see the mom and I would have problems communicating, right from the beginning, starting with the trip to the Weidner's when we had a discussion about he pronunciation of the state they were going to be residing in. Anne boldly pointed out the spelling, and declared, "O-R-E-G-O-N" spells "or-ì-gone"—not "or-y-gun". I joked that she could called my state "or-ì-gone" if I could call her state "Mich-ì-'gan". I think she finally got it.
I think I let M J present the cupcakes to Mrs. Weidner, who became immediate enamored with M J. I hardly had a chance to ask "would it be ok if M J and her mom stayed here with you for a while"? I'm not sure if she was really thinking, but said "of course", so, before she could change her mind, I went down to fetch all of their things and put them in the upstairs bedroom, where I assumed they would be staying. I was horrified to see the condition of the room, broken windows, junk all over, and a stench. I had to hold back tears thinking they would be living in these conditions. I had to make an effort to I would have to insist Roger fix the window and let them clean the place up, which it turned out I did not have to do. Anne never had a problem making demands on Roger, myself, and anyone else she met in Portland.
When I went back downstairs, Mrs. Weidner was chatting with Anne, and they were already talking about getting the house cleaned up. I thought "great", and prepared to leave. "Who are these people"? Mrs. Weidner said to me. My heart sunk. I thought I was going to have to go get the things and move them back into my car. But where was I going to take them. I decided to defy Mrs. Weidner, who I could see was not accepting me leaving them to stay in her house. "Mrs. Weidner" I said loudly (she is hard of hearing, at 95, this is not surprising—plus, she has "selective hearing") "Roger asked me to bring them here to help you. He'll be back in a few days, then you and Roger can decide". She seemed not happy, but willing to let me leave them there. I showed Anne the upstairs, told her I was sorry to have to leave her and M J in such deplorable conditions, and gave her a hug. I felt really bad about the living conditions, but Anne seemed very capable and I guessed she would make it work. I gave her my card, and told her to call me if there was any problem.
I decided I would invite Anne and M J over to dinner with me and my daughter once in a while, to have a break from Mrs. Weidner. It was very hard for me to decide how much to tell my daughter. I eventually decided that I would have to tell her the truth about Anne and M J. Because of a breakdown in trust between me and J several years ago, which brought CPS into our lives, I felt it was more important than ever not to lie to my own daughter.
In the beginning, it was fun getting to know Anne and M J. It was always hard though trying to have a conversation with M J, because her mom would constantly interrupt. "What are studying today M J?" I would ask. "Oh, M J's [doing this or that]" "MOM!" M J would object. It really disgusted me. But I never said anything, because I did not want to be like CPS, nosing into someone's parenting business. I did get brave enough finally to ask if it would be ok to have M J over to the house by herself a couple times. That worked out nice. I could see Anne was trying to give M J some independence, but she just seemed to always want to control things. I imagined they were both very clingy because of the horror they had already been through with CPS when M J was four years old.
The first night we had dinner at my house (and Anne rarely offered to help with anything, she was always busy talking about CPS and berating other advocates), I think we had stuffed chicken dinner. I remember M J got up to get some milk. I looked over and the whole milk carton was moving towards the floor. She seemed too old to be having this kind of accident, but I made light of it. She feigned a painful state and grabbed her shoulder: "It's my shoulder" she whispered. J and I looked at each other and could hardly keep from laughing. She reminded me in that moment of Alice in Wonderland, as she was falling down the rabbit hole, stating very calming "I must not be too far from the center of the earth". She seemed to be in her own happy fairyland.
I think my fondest memory of M J was the night she and I watched a little bit of Alice in Wonderland in French, "Alice au pays des merveilles". She could follow a little, without really understanding the words. She was holding our cat, Sgt Pepper while the film was playing.
What a darling she was, that M J, "an absolute angel" as someone said.
I have a giant pear painting in my living room. One night when Anne and M J were over, M J painted her own giant pear. It was a smaller version of my own, but had the same color theme: black background, featuring a single, reclining, green pear. The only difference was that hers at little black specks all over it. I asked her what the black specks were supposed to be: "Well, those are the pear people" she answered.
One of her paintings reminded me of Alice in Wonderland. It is my favorite M J painting, a beautiful smiling angel, dressed in red, holding a wand. The angel painting seemed to me a self-portrait by M J, who was like a modern day Lewis Carroll caricature, light and airy, living in a kind of beautiful fantasy world.
M J was a very interesting kid. Mrs. Weidner taught her a few Norwegian expressions, like "gdadadag"(sp). One evening I was there and Roger's brother Bruce was also at the Weidner residence. Bruce and I exchanged some niceties in French, and had a conversation about foreign languages and his linguistic project. Anne said to M J, "we're surrounded by all this culture". M J started looking around the room, as if she had lost something or was looking for something. I didn't understand why she did that. Then she said "where"? I realized she had taken her mother's comment literally! She was always doing or saying cute little things, sometimes unintentionally, as most kids to from time to time.
Like all underground kids, M J was being home schooled. When they first arrived in Portland, M J was in need of a new math book, so I took her to the home of another family who was home schooling to get the appropriate level of math book. I also offered to teach M J French, but she said she had her own foreign language. I was very curious, and asked her to teach me some words. I remember there were a lot of "z" sounds, and lot of "r" sounds. She told me her name, and many names for different objects around the room. I asked the name of an animal, and she said a word that sounded like the same word for her name. She just rolled her eyes when I caught her making a "mistake" in her own "language". M J was a real joy in the lives of people who knew her. She quickly befriended and charmed anyone who came into her world.
Anne knew I had a cable show, MotherInterrupted. We had a studio shoot the second Saturday after their arrival, and after Roger Weidner had been released from the Deschutes County jail and was back at home at the Weidner residence. I told Anne I would love to have her and M J come with Roger out to the studio, but that I didn't feel it was safe for them in their situation. She paid no heed to my caution, and insisted on coming that Saturday.
It turned out to be a delight having Anne and M J in the studio. MCTV staff and volunteers were immediately taken by M J, who was very helpful working on the set. Anne began right away helping my producer in the control room. It was decided that M J would give me little presents, paintings, post cards, stuffed animals, etc. that I would talk about on the show. It was flirting with the devil to have an underground child right there on the MotherInterrupted set! We are all careful to keep M J away from the cameras. She understood the game, and seemed to really enjoy helping us play it.
Here is one of the messages she wrote to me:
My name is M J. I am a child. I am between 7-10 years old. CPS is chasing us. We had to leave our home. I heard you are trying to stop CPS. Please help us too by telling people we want to go home. I want this to end.
It was written on the back of an elephant drawing. In between programs, M J came out on the set and presented me with the letter and painting. It was right before I was to begin my interview with Dr. Larry. It got me very emotional, even without reading the message. I decided to ad lib the whole show, and not read the letter beforehand. "Welcome to MotherInterrupted. I'm Susan Detlefsen. MotherInterrupted is devoted to exposing the truth about what Children's Protective Services is doing to our children, and their families". I sighed and continued, "I've just received this letter and drawing from a little girl, who, like the McLaren children (another underground family I have been helping for three and half years) is living in hiding with her family. I read the letter. It was really hard to hold back the emotions. I did, and quickly turned to my guest Dr. Larry, who was looking a little uneasy. We got right into the interview, talking about how CPS is using mental health to authenticate the mass destruction of families in America. I later scanned in M J's elephant drawing and edited it into the Dr. Larry show.
From then, until about a month before they were finally captured on August 10, 2005, Anne and M J were regulars on the MotherInterrupted crew. At each shoot, M J would have thought of a new element to add to the set, one time "Mousy Mouse", which was just on loan for the MotherInterrupted set, one time, Pinkie Bear, which was a gift for me to add permanently to the set, along with Rylie bun, who wears a dress left behind in the middle of the night by one of the McLaren children. One time, M J gave me a beautiful cat pin the wear during the show, and one time a green flower. Each time, she would give them to me just as I was about to start the show, and it would get me anxious and I would have to figure out exactly what to say without compromising their safety. Usually I would say something like "Tonight I'm wearing this cat pin that has been loaned to me by one of the children who is hiding from Child Protective Services". It would be a segue into the underground, and I would finish that part of the introduction by asking viewers to keep this child and her family, and all the hidden angels in their hearts. The whole time M J would be standing next to one of the cameras waving and making faces and gestures at me. Everyone loved it, especially M J.
Mike was especially fond of M J. "M J!" he would exclaim every time she walked into the studio. If I got there before Roger, Anne and M J, the first thing Mike would say was "Where's M J"? She was the light of the studio life, a little butterfly floating around putting smiles on everyone's face.
I decided I wanted to enrich M J's life by taking her and her mom on trips around Oregon. The first excursion we went on was to the Oregon coast, to Seaside and Cannon Beach, then down to Cape Kiwanda. I took them up and down the giant sand dune.
Another day I took them to Lincoln City, Gleneden beach, past my beach cabin. We stopped at L H, who is known loosely, among other titles, as the head of the underground, not just in Oregon, but nationwide. He had not yet met Anne in person. I stepped outside with M J so that he and Anne could have a private conversation.
Another day we hiked Multnomah Falls, and other time, Mt. Hood. Wherever we went, M J would find rocks and sticks to take back. She always had interesting things to say about everything around her.
I was very proud to chauffeur this family around the state. Contrary to some people's belief, I never received a dime in reimbursement for food, gas, zoo entries, or anything else I provided for Anne and M J, and I never asked for anything. In fact, one day, after Anne said they had been robbed, I gave her $20.00. I didn't mind, because I felt it was a privilege to have one of the FamTrak1 families in my world.
Anne and M J's underground sojourn in Oregon corresponded with another historic event, the reunion of A Voice for Children's Founder, Will Gaston, with his 15 year old daughter, from whom he had been estranged for many years by the state of Oregon. I heard about this in early May from Roger Weider. He said the girl had called Will. I could hardly believe it, and became so overcome by emotion I could hardly sit through the meeting I had come to sit in on with Roger and a couple business partners, regarding their Web site. I really couldn't believe it was true. Then, I got a call on my cell phone on my way to the beach that weekend. Roger said M had invited Will to come to her house for a visit! He wanted Roger and I to go with him. I turned around and went to meet them in SE Portland. I met Will in the parking lot of a public building and took some photos. He was so full of excitement he could hardly focus on directions to get to her house. He asked me to lead the way, even though I had no idea how to get to the place. Will followed me up and down various side streets, and finally we found her house. I can remember every minute of that morning. We both parked our cars. (Roger, Anne and M J never made it). Will asked me to wait outside with a camera, in case it was a set up by state workers. He approached the door, and before he arrived at his daughter's doorstep, she came walking out "I love you!" she yelled at her father. He signaled for me to come with them, inside the house. It was such a privilege, and such an emotional event even for me, an unrelated third party. I was trying to imagine how hard it must have been for this girl to take the steps to contact her father, after all the lies she had been told by state workers. She foundhim on the internet. She said she wanted him to know that she was alright. For a few minutes, father and daughter just stood looking at each other, then M began making furtive pats on his forearm, as if she were petting a wild animal. She did that for a good minute or so. It just broke my heart to witness this, to realize all the years of hurt and misunderstanding that had been created by state workers in the taking of Will Gaston's daughter. I asked if they wanted me to leave so they could have a private talk. M insisted I stay. She seemed to want to have a woman there during the visit, probably because of all the lies about "daddy, penis and vagina" she had been repeatedly fed by DHS perverts and other state officials. I could hardly believe that Pamela was not there to witness this blessed moment, and assist the two in their awkward reunion.
The three of us, Will, his daughter and I, went to the park down the street, to talk about a clandestine visit plan. It was going to be M's birthday, so we planned a secret birthday party to take place at my house the weekend after her birthday! Everyone got very excited about this.
On May 21, I invited other activists who had fought for M and her dad, as well as M, her dad and her aunt, to come to my house for a bbq and birthday party. We had potato salad, hot dogs, and birthday cake. Anne and MJ were there, which made me nervous. I tried to keep M J out of the cameras' view. She and M played by my pool. What a joyous day that was. Will gave a speech about finally finding his daughter, and thanked everyone for being there, and for their years of support.
It was spring, and as part of my role in trying to provide some additional educational support and entertainment for M J, one day I sent her a package of garden seeds from the Butchart Gardens in Victoria Canada. Another day, I brought a surprise variety of seeds, and asked M J to plant them and see if they would sprout and grow, and then we would try to identify them, in both English and French (and her own M J language if she wanted!). I helped her do some planting one day, and came over a couple times to see the progress. I don't remember if there were any sprouts or not, but none of the seeds seemed to really grow into much.
I loaned M J a pair of child's tap shoes. She and I had done a little tap together in my basement. After she got the shoes over at the Weidner's, tapping for Roger and Mrs. Weidner became one of M J's regular activities. One evening I went over to watch her tap dance, and do her hair. We ended up spending almost an hour doing different hairdos, and letting Mrs. Weidner critique each one. It was a precious evening.
I imagine the public has no idea just how many FamTrak kids are out there among them. These kids are everywhere. Here's an example of how integrated legal kids are with the underground. I took Anne and MJ to see a Hosford Middle School production of "The Wizard of Oz". My friend FionaRhea had done some of the choreography, and her youngest daughter Sylvie was performing as one of the jitterbug dancers. We had initially been seated very close to the stage, but for some reason Anne insisted on going up on the balcony, where we had a strained view and it seemed to be about 10 degrees hotter. It turned out to be a good move however. We ended up sitting right behind the Wizard! Some of the actors were seated in the audience, except during their specific scenes. We also met up there with FionaRhea and her daughter Christina who were there to see the musical. M J was sitting to my left, next to the rail and hallway that led to the rafters. In that hall space was the lighting equipment and crew. M J was quite figety that night and I remember telling her mother she would have to keep off the ramp because she could hurt herself, and it was distracting. It also might attract dangerous attention. The girl who seemed to be in charge of the main lighting, who looked to be about 9 or 10, the same age as M J, or maybe a little older, also noticed M J's inappropriate behavior. I tried to be patient thinking maybe she had never been to a play or musical before. Finally, the disruption became so bad that the other girl, the one controlling the lights, said something to M J about staying off the ramp. I looked at the girl and noticed she was wearing a button that said "Mitch Greenlick". I know Mitch Greenlick, because he is a state representative. He supports DHS intervention in families and speaks as though he doesn't have a clue about all the fraud and abuse running our Department of Human Services. I couldn't resist asking the lighting girl, "Why are you wearing a Representative Greenlick button". "He's my grandfather" she replied! I mused realizing, here I am, with one of the hidden angels, who is sitting right next to the grandchild of one of our state legislators. I had an inclination to write to Representative Greenlick about meeting his granddaughter and broaching the subject of the underground, but decided it would be futile.
On one other occasion, I thought of introducing Anne to one of our legislators. I was growing more and more concerned about her lack of strategy for getting out from under CPS. I thought maybe I could help by introducing her to someone who is family-friendly and not afraid of DHS. Taylor McLaren has done a very good job at this, advocating from a distance for her children, contacting other advocates, getting government officials in other states to go to bat for her.
Since I was started to talk to legislators and give testimony at hearings in Salem, regarding CPS fraud and abuse, I thought about broaching the subject of a family in hiding with a legislator I knew was sympathetic to our cause. Anne wanted nothing to do with it, and would not even discuss it. I understood her point of view, but felt she was too rigid and was missing opportunities to strategize and brainstorm. She appeared unwilling to let me offer any help or advice, and this became another issue that pushed me away from her.
Anne did however agree to a juvenile court hearing with me and several other advocates one day. It was a third shelter hearing for little baby Eddie, third child of Sherrie Kopp, third child stolen by DHS. The father Ed Kopp brought his two other daughters and his parents. He got up and very eloquently let the judge, the foster parents and DHS workers have it. He even got a laugh out of the audience when he said the vulgar name of a rock band someone in the foster parents' household was performing in! During the hearing, the district attorney, DHS workers and Referee Hughes all seemed to be adamant about Sherrie getting rid of Ed in order to get her baby back. Ed's dad turned to me at one point and said "I hate to sound anti-female, but it sounds like a female conspiracy against my son". Well, I am not anti-female by any means, and even I thought it sounded like that.
I felt especially important to be at a juvenile court hearing that day, in front of the same DHS prostitute judge (Referee Hughes) who had helped abuse me and my daughter, with an underground mom. I left the courtroom just as the hearing was ending, before the others, to go out and get my videocamera. On my way out, I said to the foster mom "You should be ashamed of yourself".
I got my camera out of my car and waiting for the court prostitutes to come out of JDH. The first ones out were the foster mom and her biological daughter. The daughter, when she saw I had the camera on them, came up and put her hand over the lens and tried to grab my videocamera. I think the attorneys and caseworkers must have noticed this, because they never came out the front door. Ed and Sherrie and their family and supporters, and the court watchers, including Anne came out where I was. Someone noticed all the court officers slipping out the side door of the courthouse! "Look at the crooks run!" exclaimed Roger Weidner. I followed them with my video camera, all the way to the parking lot. We were talking with Ed and Sherry and taking pictures of them with Ed's two beautiful daughters, when suddenly I heard Anne shout out towards the parking lot: "You're not making your reasonable efforts!" I thought, hey, wait a minute, this lady's supposed to be in hiding, what is she doing yelling out at CPS workers! I don't usually yell at caseworkers, even though they deserve it, but that was like a dare, and I could not resist chiming in, "you're criminals. You're all going to prison!" A good time was had by all. Sadly, in spite of clear and convincing evidence of lies and fraud by DHS, and of Sherrie and Ed's ability and willingness to take baby Eddie home immediately, DHS won again. Baby Eddie would not return home, not that day at least.
Things seemed to be working out well for Anne M J living at the Weidner's, with Anne taking care of Mrs. Weidner. Mrs. Weidner would get angry with M J, but was actually very fond of her and used to tell M J, "you're going to be the Rose Festival princess some day if you stay in Portland". It seemed to be a game between M J and Mrs. Weidner about what parts of the house M J was allowed in. Mrs. Weidner would literally chase M J around the house if she had gotten into an off limits area! One time M J called me on the phone. She was so cute, she used to call and say "Uh, Susan?" "It's M J". I would respond "Hi M J! What are you up to" "Uh, well" she would continue, "I'm hiding from Mrs. Weidner." "Where are you?" I would ask. "Well, I'm in the basement right now. Mrs. Weidner is chasing me". She would have dread in her voice, yet there was also a hint of playfulness. It was strange. I did not know what to say, so I would just keep asking her questions, like "what have you been doing today?" etc. She was getting more desperate sounding. "Mrs. Weidner's coming down the stairs!" she whispered in a frantic voice. "Ok, where are you now?" I continued. "Under Roger's bed!" she continued still in a desperate whisper, "oops, gotta go!", and she hung up on me! I didn't know what to do the first time she did this. Should I go over to the Weidner's and make sure she was ok? Should I try to call the house? I did nothing. Because of the awkward nature of their residency in Oregon, I under reacted to a lot of things I observed.
I wanted to keep some distance so that I could be a support person to Anne and MJ, and provide some relief and entertainment once in a while.
Everything was groovy until one day I had planned to pick them up in the afternoon to go for a walk in the park. I arrived a few minutes before the scheduled meeting time. I knocked on the door and waited a minute. I knocked again and looked inside the house. I saw Anne right there in the kitchen. It seemed to me like she could see me, but was not answering the door. I knocked again and also rang the door bells. I stood there for maybe five minutes, then, not wanting to make a scene in front of the neighbors, especially because of the situation, and because it seemed that Anne was deliberately refusing to answer the door, which puzzled me, I left.
The same thing had happened the night I went to pick up Anne and M J to go hear Michael Badnarik, the 2004 libertarian candidate for president, speak at the Libertarian Headquarters in Beaverton. I had arrived at the scheduled time, stood knocking at the door for several minutes. No one answered, so I left for the lecture without them.
That afternoon when the three of us were supposed to go for walk, I ended up going out to do errands instead. When I returned home, I called the house to talk to Anne. I explained that I had been there knocking and that since no one answered the door, I left. She insisted I had not been to the house, that it was impossible that I could have been there, and that I implied I was lying! I was shocked. I told her we should just chock it up to a misunderstanding and forget about it. Apparently she did not forget about it, and neither did little M J, who called to rake me over the coals shortly after I hung up with her mom. "You're a liar. You never came here. You're spreading lies about us. You just want to be the most famous". Her words really shocked me and upset me. The last comment did not make sense to me, though looking back, I imagine she may have gotten this notion from her mom. I tried to explain to M J that it was a misunderstanding, that I really had been to their house, and for some reason they must not have heard me knocking on the door. She never believed this, and I think M J never forgave me for what she took to be having been stood up, most likely based on her mother's interpretation. It told M J it was not nice to call me a liar, and she grudgingly apologized.
Things were never the same after that day. M J began making prank calls to my number. I knew it was her because of caller ID, but apparently she did not understand caller ID. When I would call Weidner's to scold her for calling repeatedly and hanging up, she would flatly deny making the calls! Even after I explained caller ID to her, she would continue to call once in a while and hang up. She would never identify herself. I always felt bad, because I knew she probably wanted to talk, but was confused and angry because of the disappointment from the day we missed our outing. I felt afterwards I should have just started talking when she would call like that and say nothing. I didn't. I just got cross with her, and with her mom and Roger for allowing her to keep using the phone in that way, because it was because a real interference for me, and I felt it was wrong to allow a 9 year old to continue with this kind of prank.
I stopped having Anne and M J help with the MotherInterrupted show and completely lost touch with them, sometime after the Gaston father-daughter reunion.
Then one day Roger called me. I could tell he was agitated. "The police just arrested me. They arrested Anne and drove her off in a police car". "What about M J!!!" I blurted out, as I guessed immediately it was CPS coming to snatch her, and was surprised Roger did not even mention M J. "Oh, they drove her off in a police car too." My heart sunk. All we had gone through to keep that family safe, for nothing, for them to be caught here in Portland. I don't remember the rest of my conversation with Roger. I think I was kind of in shock over M J. I asked him to go on a walk with me so we could discuss what happened in detail and come up with an action plan.
I made Roger go over and over what happened. He told me there were attack dogs and mace used in the raid on his home, and that no warrant was ever produced. He said Anne looked as though she may have gotten a black eye trying to protect M J. He said M J was crying desperately "don't hurt my mom" "did you turn me in?" (to the neighbors who were gawking, and saying that she was afraid of the police. Someone was trying to get the mace out of her eyes as they hauled her away.
I got on the phone right away to DHS officials to find out about their procedure for the interstate capture of a child. I was told there would be a hearing the next day at 2:30 at JDH. I called to organize court watchers.
Most of what unraveled after Anne was released from jail can be found by doing an internet search for "Emily Lake" "Lynnae Lake" or "Anne White". A set of sham proceedings took place, in which M J was never allowed to testify, never allowed to express her wishes. Her own attorney, Lynn Haxton perjured herself by stating that M J wanted the court to decide what would happen. When she realized she had been caught lying by the mom, she refused to say anything at all and the last hearing for M J.
When I asked Judge Waller for permission to read a letter from M J, since her attorney, Haxton, had refused to speak on the girl's behalf, Haxton objected. She apparently did not want anything real about that girl and her relationship with her mother to go on the record. Over Haxton's objection, Judge Waller let me speak. I read M J's letter to the court:
My name is M J. I am a child. I am between 7-10 years old. CPS is chaing. Us. We had to leave our home. I heard you are trying to stop CPS. Please help us too by telling people we want to go home. Ii want this to end. Love, MJ".
It was no surprise to anyone that M J was flown back to Michigan without a goodbye visit with her mom. They had only one one hour visit after the August 15th hearing. During that visit, M J exposed to her mom the fact that she was being denied medical treatment and being offered gifts in exchange for her cooperation. She was even promised pets if she would agree to be sent back to Michigan, without her mother.
I can only imagine that Anne must have been devastated, to such a degree that she turned on the very people who tried—but failed—to keep her and her daughter safe and protected from CPS. She denounced me as the one responsible for their capture and has now sent the FBI to investigate me.
In spite of Anne's personal attack on me, I still fully support her in her fight to be reunited with her daughter and to expose CPS for retaliation, fraud and racketeering in the taking of M J.
I believed from the beginning, and still do, that Anne is a good mother to M J, that M J loves her mom more than anything in the world, and that it was, and still is, in M J's best interest to be with her mom.
M J "an absolute angel," will be missed here in Oregon. We all wish her the best, wherever she is, and hope she will soon be reunited with her mother.
1. FamTrak: expression coined by L H, denoting travel on the modern day underground railway.
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