In the book 1984 by George Orwell, Room 101 is the torture chamber for a Government Department called The Ministry of Love, in a mythical country called Oceania. Civil Servants in this Ministry bend the English language in a practice the author calls “doublethink.” Fast forward to 2019, and echoes of Orwell’s vision can be found within the paradoxically-named ‘Family Courts,’ which are actually an instrument of family dissolution that forbids shared-parenting after divorce or separation.
Rules of operation in our Anti-Family Courts, (to give them their proper name), are analogous to those of Orwell’s Room 101. Firstly, just as in Room 101, the Family Courts destroy love; that love which naturally lingers between members of a family when parents separate to walk different paths. For, parties in court hearings are forced, in the same way as prisoners of Room 101, to say things judges deem necessary to get a doublethink version of ‘justice.’ Just as befell the main character Winston in 1984, saying “Do it to her, not me,” is a sure technique to surgically remove love from a soul for the rest of time. Rule number one of our Anti-Family Courts is therefore: love does not conquer all, and the Courts know how to remove it.
Rule number two. In a grotesque mimicry of conversations in Orwell’s book, fathers are forced to engage in debates they cannot win, (because they are in reality an interrogation). Words such as “Justice,” “Court,” and “Judge” are doublethink terms to confuse a litigant, as what is actually meant are: “Motherhood,” “Enforcement,” and “Administrator.” In reverse order: Family Court Judges are but barristers promoted to administer hearings. A judge’s role was designed as someone to orchestrate proceedings before a jury of peers and as such they have no special training in how to assess people, or tell truth from fiction. Due to limitations of resources in the real world, a judge on his own is used for minor cases. Yet despite a father facing the serious prospect of losing his children for the rest of his life, a single judge is always all you will have in a Family Court. Untrained as they are these Family Court administrators make decisions using templates consisting of a series of axioms: a child is owned by the State, first, second by a mother, and third or less by a father. Any debate in front of a judge – whether in giving evidence, submitting argument, applying for an order, or making submissions – is in reality an opportunity for a Court to find ways of enforcing these axioms: the sanctity of motherhood if the case be a private application, the guardianship of the State if a case is brought by social services.
Rule number three is the least believable of all. For, if a father is accused, just like the character Winston in 1984, he is guilty until he can prove himself innocent. Most will think this author is talking about his own experience alone, which may not apply as a rule. A sense of being treated fairly is intrinsic to one’s wellbeing, so it is natural you should search for it. Yet, the reality of our Anti-Family Courts is closer to fiction, for this is the rule applied when dealing with allegations of domestic abuse by men. Under something called the Paramountcy Principle of Family Law, the protection of a child overrides everything, including a fair trial and the humanity of parenthood. All it takes is for the more trustworthy of the two genders in a family, i.e. the mother, to bring such allegations. Unless these claims are implausible, the Family Courts are compelled to immediately remove an accused-father from his children, sometimes giving supervised visits but once-a-month. Until, that is, this mother finger-pointing is investigated, or put more properly, the father proves it false. Yet, how do you do that? Most homes do not have CCTV in every room; there are normally no reliable witnesses to each humdrum day of domestic life; in short, there cannot be any objective evidence. How do you prove a negative anyway? What is more, in making an allegation, a mother is from that point on empowered by a State funded legal team, something only available to women, and if she is found to have lied, no action against her will ever be taken.
Rule number four. No contact is contact. In the UK’s equivalent of Orwell’s Ministry of Love, ( i.e. the Family Division of the Courts of Justice), there is a pure example of doublethink. Orders forbidding all physical contact of a father with his children are recorded by the Ministry, in their statistics, as orders for contact. Consequently, there is no data on how extensive and how gender-bias these orders are – the most brutal punishments a society can inflict. When questioned, the severity of separation of father from child is underplayed at all levels in our Ministry. In reality, before a Family case is over, even if a decision for no contact is reversed, children will have forgotten their father and simply do not want to see him, nor feel he is their parent anymore. The damage is often lifelong and affects an average of 3 million children in the UK.
Rule number five. Inadequate contact is adequate. If contact is to be allowed between a father and his children, all in our Room 101 bleat the same mantra, so loudly and consistently that like prisoners in the book 1984 fathers begin to lose touch with reality. Shared-parenting means a child living, sleeping, eating, and being with both parents and recognizing both their parents’ homes as their home. Social Science has investigated the subject to death, most notably in America where citizens live in more affordable housing, and consequently the equivalent of their family courts recognize shared-parenting after divorce as meaning children living in two homes. Research can even put a number on the amount of time children need to spend with both parents, which is between 35-65% of their time with one or other parent (for contrary to what some believe few separated or divorced couples find a 50:50 arrangement workable). However, in the UK’s version of Room 101 such ideas are an Orwellian “thought-crime.” The very notion of a father asking for visits that amount to more than 23% of a child’s time (alternate weekends and half the holidays), is met with disbelief by all: social workers, mothers, judges, and anyone else the court allows to speak. In fact, staying contact of a child with a father is considered a great concession to ‘the beast that is a male parent.’ More typically, fathers are given 5-7% of time with their children, with one overnight stay a month. Senior feminist advisers to the UK courts will espouse a philosophy that says the amount of time a father has with his children is not as important as the quality of that time, something that is simply nonsense. At the end of a court hearing, many fathers leave with a certainty of slowly being alienated from their children, who will eventually look upon him as a special relative, but not a father. For this, they are often grateful, as by the end of the process, they have become, like Winston, a brainwashed better citizen of the UK Feminist State.
Rule number six. Family Court Orders are for men, not women. Male-parents who break Family Court child arrangement orders face serious consequences. If they are so foolhardy as to run away with their children to spend more time with them, they will certainly serve 7 years in prison, per child. Moves are afoot with lawmakers to increase this to life in prison. If a father has an injunction against him from a Family Court, something which can be made on an ever increasing list of wafer thin pretexts, (such as a mother getting a letter saying she had been thinking of moving into one of the many state sponsored Woman’s shelters), and makes the slightest transgression, (in one case I know putting a foot in the porch of a house he was paying for), he will go to prison for two weeks, automatically. At any time, a mother can refuse to comply with any visitation order, and the consequences are well, nothing, normally.
This last rule goes to the heart of our Orwellian analogy. For the Big Brother dictatorship of 1984 served one group’s interests (i.e. party members) over others; for the greater good of a State. Importantly, Big Brother did not exist, he was not a person but an ideology. For if a social system serves no one but an ideology, or serves but a single person, it is a malignant and liable for eventual overthrow. However, a system that serves one groups’ interests over the interests of another is benign, be it a dictatorship or a democracy (which does exactly the same thing: giving power to the slight-majority over the needs of the slight-minority). From a bird’s-eye perspective, citizens of any society want different things, and these needs or desires are always conflicting. A struggle for the interests of different groups of people within society is a necessary part of the human condition. So it is within the Family Courts, where there has been a power-grab of children by one gender over the other, but in a type of process that is throughout all and any society, be it a dictatorship, kingdom, democracy, or something else. Execution of any bias, winners justifying thier gains to losers, always entails a swaddle of lies and contradictions, and what comes out of the Family Courts is no less. What Orwell did in his book was to create a fiction that exaggerated this principle in a story that made it clear – using the Western World’s then fear of Communism and Dictatorships. The important point of this analogy, important to the millions of fathers stripped of their children, and often their life savings through our Family Courts, is that contrary to what dispossesed fathers think, and in line with the outcome in 1984, things will not change. Despite the inhumanity of the Family Courts towards fathers, such things are intrinsic to all social existence, the norm, and a stable state of affairs.
Many would say Orwell got it wrong, there is no dictatorship in the UK, no communism left in the world, and the year 1984 passed without the apocalyptic vision he portrayed. I say he got it exactly right. Society has evolved into a lying-distortion of morality. Take away Big Brother and replace it with Big Sister with the rise of the Feminist State and of Margret Thatcher in the early 1980s. Take away Thought-Crime and replace it with PC. Take away Room 101 and replace it with the Family Courts. Take away Double-Think and replace it with the rhetoric of Feminism, Gender Pay-Gap, Sexual Discrimination, #Metoo, Woman’s Aid and Refuge. Finally, take away the Ministry of Information and replace it with the BBC.