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Wednesday, April 13, 2011
CLAYTON R. DOUGLAS OF "THE FREE AMERICAN" COMMENTS ON THE LINDA WIEGAND CASE
As you will recall, I conducted a lengthy series on Linda Wiegand several months ago. My friend, Lisa, read my series on Linda Wiegand and was surfing the internet when she stumbled across a lengthy essay in support of Linda Wiegand which Clayton R. Douglas of the blog radio show "The Free American" had published.
Then, not long after the essay in support of Linda Wiegand came another one reversing his position and declaring Linda Wiegand a hoax. Lisa found such a reversal rather puzzling and so she sent Mr. Douglas an email asking him for an explanation of why he changed his mind. Today she received a response and it is as follows. This is what Clayton Douglas of "The Free American" says:
"I did the research. I interviewed her. I talked with her boyfriend on the condition that I not tell her where he was. I talked with the principal of where her Children [sic] went to school. SHE was the one who sexualized the children. She is the one that told the story of her son having oral sex with a Saint Bernard. If you had found you [you] son doing that what would you have done? Wash his mouth out with soap, beat his butt and forget about it...or call CNN? She told the world. She wanted to put up a billboard telling the people of Providence that her children were molested. She was on [sic] woman and the man that raised her children did nothing wrong."
I was very disappointed in this response. I thought that there must be some new evidence that surfaced showing definitively that Linda Wiegand was in the wrong. That way those of us who were so troubled with the verdict in the Wiegand case could rest easier and know that justice is done.
Instead, what Clayton Douglas has provided here is another variation on "he said, she said". There is no new information here! There is no true research that has been done! Since when can you prove, simply by talking to a person, whether they are lying or not lying. So Linda said what she said, and Linda's ex boy friend said what he said, so? What's enlightening about that. Are we going to believe what an embittered ex boy friend has to say seriously?
I have lived long enough to have ex boyfriends say they would go to other people with false stories about me once we broke up. Usually, my true friends were smart enough to know what the ex said was simply nonsense.
I also question Clayton Douglas' report that he interviewed the principal where the children went to school. I had a custody evaluation. In order to agree to speak to the custody evaluator and the guardian ad litem for the children, the principal of the school here in Connecticut had to have a release of information provided by a parent. Did Mr. Douglas get such a release from the father?
Also, I am a victim of domestic violence and my children have been emotionally, but not sexually abused. There have been scenes and confrontations and the children have experienced manipulation and verbal abuse from their father. Would the principals in the schools where my children have been educated know much about the truth or falsity of what they have experienced? Not really. Principals do not work directly with the children--teachers, nurses, and counselors do, but not principals, and principals are often politically motivated and not very reliable reporters. How can you be sure that a principal is any more informed or knowledgeable than anyone else.
This is the problem with people like Clayton R. Douglas. They lack intellectual rigor. They make statements based upon emotion and upon what they would like to believe, not upon the facts of a case.
If there was new evidence in the case such as a medical or psychiatric report, that would be something to pay attention to. If Linda Wiegand were caught on tape admitting to lies and deception, I would be alert and paying attention. If there were significant contradictions in the testimony or inconsistencies in the evidence, that would be important. But more hot air from people who are doing little more than sounding off on their own opinions? Give me a break.
Mr. Douglas asks me what I would do if I found my sons engaging in oral sex with a Saint Bernard. I don't know, Mr. Douglas. My boy wouldn't engage in oral sex with a Saint Bernard unless someone had sexually abused him, and since he wasn't sexually abused, it never came up.
Finally, there is the question of what in the heck was Linda Wiegand doing when she decided to go public and speak up about her case. Does this action alone prove that she was an attention getting publicity hound who was simply using her children because she had a sick need for fame, notoriety, and just plain money? I am not so sure about that.
As a litigant, it cost me a minimum of $200,000 in order to secure the custody of my children. That is not small change. And my case was fairly simple. Funding a custody battle is a long term, extremely expensive proposition. Does Clayton R. Douglas have any other suggestions for what a mother with limited financial resources is supposed to do in fighting a case against an ex husband with substantial sums of money with which to fight his case? Does Mr. Douglas think such money grows on trees?
If Linda Wiegand believed the story her children told was true, she had to choose between the better of two evils, a kind of Sophie's Choice: one staying private and losing her case which would have left her children in the custody of the abuser, or two going public and exposing her children and their story to the prying eyes of strangers, yet ensuring them physical protection.
Aside from the money issue, when the legal system broke down in this case, and it did break down, Linda Wiegand did what the vast majority of us would do, she appealed to the American public for justice. I was reading "The Oddysey" recently, particularly the scene where Telemachos stands before the Council complaining of the suitors who are making him and his mother, Penelope, miserable with their demands that she marry and using up all their money on extravagant parties.
Telemachos appeals for justice and at the end of his speach he says in essence, "The gods will hold these suitors accountable for their evil deeds, but make no mistake, they will also hold all of you members of this council to account because knowing of this wrong you all stood around and did nothing to protect us."
Likewise, as a community, here in Connecticut, and in all of America, Linda Wiegand brought her case to us, the citizens of Connecticut, and of America and appealed to our sense of fairness. She asked us to insist upon justice, not only for her, but also for her children. If it turns out that a wrong was done in this case, I believe, sooner or later, we as a community, and as a culture, and indeed, Mr. Clayton R. Douglas of "The Free American" will be held accountable. Telemachos could have remained silent and stoic. He chose not to. Linda Wiegand chose not to as well. And who can blame her given the horrendous nature of the accusations she was making, most particularly if what she was saying was true.
We still do not have enough information to be sure one way or another because instead of doing the work and adjudicating the case properly, the Court chose to violate the law, the rights of the litigants and due process and in blatant disregard of proper court procedures, ruled based upon prejudice and emotion.