Years ago I corresponded with a man living overseas. I’ll call him Job (not his real name). He’d learned about me from my activism. I learned he was looking to come to America to help his son who, apparently, could not get the help he needed over there. So Job planned to come to the USA, find suitable medical care, then bring over his daughter and wife.
I warned him against bringing the “ball-and-chain.” I told him no matter how nicely she acted there, once she got here her attitude would change. Markedly.
And not for the better.
Feminism would guarantee that.
My friend, a skilled programmer, noted my warning… then focused on getting his son help pronto. He tapped his savings, flew here, then spent countless hours pounding pavement while navigating myriad mental health mazes.
Task completed, he brought over his wife.
It was his undoing.
Sure enough, within a short time, not only was his wife making more and more demands on him, she started hiding her own savings. Then she began reading about America’s feminists. Soon after came false accusations, restraining orders, and so on. The usual low-life litany.
Still, my friend kept attempting the Sisyphean task of trying to please and appease her. No matter. He could never satisfy her.
Still, Job stayed put, mostly to be with and protect his son and daughter (whom the wife now began abusing). Ultimately divorce papers were served, custody being awarded to the vaginate (surprise!). Then commenced the downward spiral of my friend.
His brother died around that time, adding to his agony. And though he’d left my friend a chunk of change, it did no good. Job’s stepmother intervened, convincing his white-knight father to deny access without her permission. Which, of course, was never given. So my now-pauperized friend was left defenseless against his wife’s free NOW-paid legal sharks.
Summoned to court too often, he lost his job. Time with his kids was reduced. Next he lost his lodging, the one place his kids could visit, so it was cut altogether. He lost self-esteem and nearly his sanity.
A once proud, physically strong, productive, high-earning, caring father became a penniless bum living in a homeless shelter. Formerly optimistic, energetic, and creative, he morphed into a shell: clinically-depressed, drugged on meds, with sleep apnea.
Shooting him would have been more merciful.
Gloria Steinem must be proud.
But this tale is not just about him. It’s also about another friend. And the non-moving men’s movement of the era, which forced individual guys to fight what should have been collective battles. It indicts those groups because when contacted, they did zip for desperate men.
Christopher Robin (his real name), wanted—and continues to want—one thing: contact with his son. Yet for years he’s been denied that. He reached out, as did my other friend, to many men’s groups who advertised help, but failed to deliver. In fact, most groups’ “national offices” were just PO Boxes. And most leaders were power-hungry do-nothings interested only in taking money from men in need.
I saw such groups up close. Lonely, scared, newly scarred men would turn up bearing court papers, looking for help. “Leaders” would convince them to pay dues… what was jokingly called (in private, of course) “fleecing the sheep.” Because what the lost souls got in turn was the business card of the group’s lawyer (who made a killing while doing squat to gain custody).
Of course, the new recruits were now free to commiserate with fellow members… who’d similarly refused $20 annual donations to men’s rights groups a few weeks ago, but now handed over $10,000 retainers to do-nothing shysters.
The era’s delusions were hard to overestimate. Groups would brag about bills they “presented,” caring not a jot if they ever passed into law. Clueless leaders didn’t see that local politicians and reporters considered them jokes. One legend-in-his-own-mind would dispense coupons for free yogurt samples like he was a Tammany Hall ward boss.
Unbelievable! It was like watching drunken goats try to fly jets.
Anyway, because those muttonheads refused to lead, individual men were left in the lurch. Most suffered horribly, alone and unnoticed, group dues paid or not.
Like my now homeless friend, Job.
And Christopher Robin.
In a recent post, the latter wrote:
“It has been a long time since I was an activist. It was my whole life for several years. I actually believed if we fought hard enough, we could make changes in the system and get justice.”
Indeed. There certainly was a naïve belief that as soon as men saw a few guys fighting, others would join in. No one thought Team Penis would hide in trenches, much less start shooting at their own activists.
Now understand: Christopher’s son’s godfather is Gene Autry, the famous “singing cowboy”…
And Chris, himself, was a good friend of Jack LaLanne:
Plus he lives in Hollywood on land with many trees. The house is covered with purple hearts, too, originally one for each day he didn’t see his son (1400-something, though now there should be over 6500!). He was ready, willing, and able to use his house and influence to help other men. All group leaders had to do was join in.
Which, of course, they didn’t.
“Everyone I knew wondered why the media would not do a serious story on the Purple Heart House. The Hollywood Dell is home to movie stars, writers, directors, producers who drove by the old house every day. Writers from People, Time, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times and CBS called me and set up a time for an interview. They were amazed at the passion we had… at the many dozens of heart-breaking stories featured on your Purple Heart Wall of Hope.”
More on the Wall later.
So what happened?
“They were very interested. They asked all the questions that legitimate news people would ask. Each one of them were sure their coverage of this phenomenon would attract world-wide attention.
Each of them asked me about my in-laws. When I told them the story about my ex-wife and her mother, their attitude toward me changed. Each one of them told me that if my in-laws were Italian, Irish, Polish, Scandinavian— printing my story would not be a problem. However, my in-laws are not any of those and each one of those reporters admitted that no one would ever print my story.”
Sound familiar? Any readers with exes who were believed despite lying?
Mr. Robin, again:
“Post-menopausal NBC news-lady, Laurel Erickson, made an appointment for 4pm to video your Purple Heart Wall of Hope and interview a few of our fathers. We waited until 6 and were about to give up on her when her video truck pulled up. There were several alienated fathers waiting. Finally we were sure we would get our story told. She exited the video truck with her driver, who was also her videographer.
She must have had a tough day because she looked very haggard, angry, and hostile. With microphone in hand, she walked toward us in a rather menacing manner. Immediately, she began to insist that the only reason we didn’t get to see our children is because we probably were molesters. She insisted that she knew a lot of fathers who got to see their kids.
We had waited so long to get our story out… and this miserable hag ranted that it was our fault if we didn’t get to parent our children.
She interviewed seven of our activists and we all watched and listened in disbelief. As she drove off, we prayed that she would never file our story. None of us could believe that this kind of hatred existed in newsrooms.
Each of our activists had exactly the same sentence. The Los Angeles County judges had made all of us ‘visitors.’ Wednesdays… and every other weekend.”
I’ve known Christopher for years, though we’ve corresponded infrequently (though that happily seems to be a-changin’). Life happened and some things became too painful to revisit. Still, as he writes:
“Every day on the news we see firemen rescuing a kitten from a tree…. Poor Lindsay Lohan’s problems…. Tiger Wood’s love life…. but there is never a story about how fathers get destroyed the minute a divorce happens.”
True. Men don’t matter unless they get wounded or die trying to help others. Yet the fact is, every man’s heart bleeds…and every divorced father should get a Purple Heart.
Christopher Robin and his son should have lived a life as idyllic as that at Pooh Corner. Instead, like above-mentioned Job, he’s been driven to his knees. Financially drained, arthritic, another victim of feminism run amok.
“It has been several years since I have seen or spoken to any of my activist friends. No matter how hard we fought, we always got defeated. Some of my old friends have turned to booze and drugs. A couple have taken their lives.
As for me, I have dealt with severe clinical depression for more than 15 years. Naturally, I have considered suicide because depression is incurable but I must not do that because I pray every day that my little 10 year old will send me a card or drop by to say hello. Now it has been 18 years since I have seen him. He will be 29 years old in December.”
Imagine: a system so evil it not only denies fathers custody, it alienates children so much they don’t see their loving dads for decades thereafter! Is there a crueler fate than having all that matters taken from you while feminists, supported by male taxes, smirk?
And some say the Taliban is barbaric!
More from Christopher:
“No matter how tough we are, when the courts destroy a family, the pain in our hearts is beyond any physical pain. Even now, after all these years, if I see a commercial with a father and his son on TV, I begin to sob uncontrollably. If I am with friends and we begin to speak about my little son, I began to cry.”
The Wall of Hope was an idea I concocted whereby men would send Christopher postcards he’d then laminate and affix to a wall:
My dedication reads:
“Purple Heart Wall of Hope
There are walls, like that in Berlin, which kept us apart.
We were glad to tear them down.
Some walls, like that for Vietnam Vets, heal us.
This wall, covered with smiling faces, inspires us.
It’s a testament to men’s love for their children,
For families, fatherhood and fairness.
For despite loving their children dearly,
Many Fathers are kept away from them
By current public policies and biased divorce Laws.
Far from despairing, however, these pioneering fathers
Are reaching out to one another and to us.
They want us to see that they support each other,
And need our help.
The pictures you see here are from around the world.
They are sent by caring fathers as articles of faith.
Look closely at these photos.
Each represents a child in need of his father.
It is our fondest hope that love will triumph…
And children, the world over,
Will be reunited with their fathers.”
Anyway, you’d think with such a golden chance for media attention, with, literally, “Hollywood connections,” men’s groups would have sent truckloads of cards. But no. Each feared being outdone by the other, so groups– for the most part– refused to participate at all.
What could have happened had this house become a beacon for distressed men? Where would feminism be today if men had rallied around it, creating others across the land? What might have transpired if guys had just worn the buttons Christopher created?
Or had kids hold signs with the same logo?
It wouldn’t have taken much to stop the women’s movement back then. A few “warning shots” would have done the trick. Just like a handful of Maginot Line border guards firing in the air would have stopped Nazi patrols crossing into the Rhineland on March 7, 1936. But because the French failed to act, WWII ensued. And because MRM leaders failed to act, a one-sided Gender War commenced, collectively punishing billions of men.
At least be inspired by what some lone men were able to do. Then think about what we can all do together now, aided by the Internet:
Read more about The Purple Hearts House here:
And watch a few Christopher-and-son videoclips here:
Finally, consider sending Christopher an encouraging word (email via the PHH website, above). He might feel burned-out, but still: it could boost his spirits knowing others care.
And who knows: he could re-start his famous house’s project …and start reading AVFM regularly!