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February 20, 2004

The Aftermath of ANCPR's Lowell Jaks Kidnapping His Son

Update - March 4, 2004: Alec Jaks has been found in the Dominican Republic and is back with his mother. Lowell Jaks is in custody and will shortly be extradited to California.

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There have been some interesting reactions from fathers' rights activists in light of Lowell Jaks kidnapping his son. Mostly, they are being quiet about it because they know it has shined a light on how much their "children need both parents" platform is nothing but hot air. I also think that some of them are being quiet because they know where Jaks is located, and they may be assisting him in hiding his son. This is big, because Jaks' fathers' rights group, the Alliance for Non-Custodial Parents Rights (ANCPR) has been frequently quoted, linked, and highly recommended by other fathers' rights web sites, groups, and activists since the late 1990s. What Jaks has done has shown up these groups and their supporters for what they really are. Their agenda is all about controlling women through the court system, griping over their loss of their sense of entitlement, and avoiding their child support obligations, all the while giving lip service to child welfare and parenting.

Fathers' rights activists are publicly distancing themselves from what Jaks has done because they recognize the damage it does to their movement. They make excuses, attempting to separate a so-called "legitimate" fathers' rights movement from the "extremists" who do things like kidnap their children. The "extremists" ARE the fathers' rights movement. The talk of "legitimate" vs. "extremists" is damage control. Some activists are distancing themselves and backpedaling like mad. Richard Bennett has recently trolled my comments section and he has taken to personally slamming me on his own blog, a practice that I understand from other bloggers has been par for the course for him for the several years he has slimed the blogosphere. Even one who agrees with his bigoted views has nonetheless called him "intellectually lazy." How fitting.

I have not heard a peep from Bennett for about five years. I find it highly telling that he magically comes out of the woodwork to attack me now, after I have written about Lowell Jaks. He defends Jaks, yet at the same time backpedals by weakly condemning the kidnapping, hoping to deflect attention away from the seriousness of this matter by bringing up unrelated kidnappings done by women. It's damage control, pure and simple.

Other fathers' rights activists are engaging in similar forms of damage control. Comments on the American Family Rights Association web site include "Lowell Jaks may have set the Equal parenting movement back 20 years by abducting his son (if that's what he indeed did). [...]  Lowell, if you did this, I feel your pain... but you harmed us more than you helped." Another commentor wrote that "[t]he abduction of a child is a wrongful action by anyone... when it is perpetrated by a "leader" in the movement for children's rights, we are injured as well as saddened.  [I]t lowers our credibility and creates more hoops for us to jump through." Dean Tong, a "forensic consultant" who was actually trained as an emergency medical technician, wrote in an e-mail that circulated a mailing list that those who go the way Jaks went make it "too easy for the feminists and the future John Kerry's of this land to pee upon fathers." Glenn Sacks, a commentor on MensNewsDaily with his own fathers' rights oriented radio program wrote, "I think we all can agree that parental abductions are an evil, and that in some extreme cases they are the lesser evil. I do know fathers whose situations are so terrible and unjust that parental abduction is defensible. What evidence is there that Lowell Jaks' case is one of them?"

Jaks's situation was not "terrible" or "unjust." According to his ex-wife, Elaine Jackson, "[the judge] gave him every other weekend and Wednesday overnights, and since Lowell worked at home (on ANCPR) the Court made him in charge of daycare while I worked. " Jackson did not "alienate" him from his son, nor did she interfere with his visitation. Jaks fled with his son because he owed a great deal of child support to his first ex-wife and he had refused to pay it. He also owed some child support to Jackson, his second ex-wife. Her second wife status is interesting in and of itself. More on that in a later post. He had stopped paying Jackson in August, 2003, and told her that he would no longer pay her "a dime." Jaks had been abusive to Jackson while they were married. She left him in January 2000, "because he had progressively gotten more controlling and violent, hitting me in the face in October 1999."

Jaks's sole means of financial support was money he received through ANCPR, which he started in 1997 in because he did not want to pay child support. He did not start ANCPR to advocate reform of the court system to ensure equal rights or to help children cope with divorce. Ironically, Jackson told me that some of the child support checks she recieved from Jaks had ANCPR letterhead on them. Those who paid for ANCPR memberships were paying Jaks's child support. Before he fled with his son, his only means of transportation was a bicycle (so much for the clunker he supposedly drove). He also had completely isolated himself from the public.

The thing is that most of the fathers' rights activists who talk about Jaks don't agree that parental abductions are an "evil," to use Sacks's term. Far many more of these men have condoned what Lowell Jaks has done. The American Family Rights Association referred to the kidnapping as Jaks's "hard decision." While these activists condemn what he has done in public, the talk is overwhelmingly supportive of Jaks on their private mailing lists. I've seen this same phenomenon occur in the mid 1990s when Fathers' Manifesto was outed. I've already linked to Jim Untershine's MensNewsDaily article that holds Jaks up as a poster boy for male "victims" of "slavery." A man with the pseudonym "Aaron Burr" responded to Sacks's comments in the link above believes that "Lowell can no longer speak for himself; and he MUST remain underground at all costs--and NOT call ANY family, or friends, or ANYBODY as "they" are watching and silently monitoring all his associations right now to find out where he is. He MUST remain silent.We, who are within the Father's Rights movement; thereby, must speak for him. We must do so generously and eloquently, with far reaching syntax and analysis, in which to paint his act as noble and to completely justify it. Which I for one, do--as what I think what he did was magnificent.

He doesn't condemn what Jaks has done. He believes that men who do this sort of thing should be "canonized." These men see themselves as "slaves" of the court system when in actuality they are livid that they are unable to continue to control their ex-partner's activities after the break-up. So, they use the children and the court system as a weapon to continue their abuses.

Jaks apparently can speak fine for himself. I know that he has written to at least one fathers' rights activist since he kidnapped his son, and that activist may have helped him. That could very well be aiding and abetting a kidnapping. I have already forwarded that information to Elaine Jackson, who has forwarded it to the authorities. I seriously doubt that that activist is the only one who knows Jaks's and his sons' whereabouts.

Posted on February 20, 2004 at 07:48 AM | Permalink

Comments

>> Richard Bennett has recently trolled my comments section <<

Whaddaya expect from the person who defined the T word? LOL ;) Geez, has it been five years?

I want to hear something new and original. The SOS is really boring, ya know?

Posted by: Moi ;) at Feb 20, 2004 6:44:33 PM

Hey, wait a minute!

I've never agreed with Richard Bennett's bigoted views!

Posted by: Radley Balko at Feb 20, 2004 6:47:52 PM

So Trish, you've struck out once again.

I challenged you to find where I've ever excused kidnapping, and after searching the web, Usenet, and your archive on me, you can't come up with anything. So you try and blow some smoke by linking to some examples of my having fun with a few random twits.

The fact of the matter is that I've consistently and strongly condemned kidnapping as long as I've been writing about family law, and you're the one who equivocates and excuses the Elizabeth Morgans and their ilk.

I actually didn't know that Jaks had kidnapped his kid until I read in your blog, but you can go on fantasizing that the Patriarchy held a closed-door meeting and targeted you for a good sliming for your strong and courageous support of poor suffering moms, and then handed the assignment to me, for which I'll obviously be handsomely paid out the Patriarch's huge treasury.

This is pretty funny.

Posted by: Richard Bennett at Feb 21, 2004 4:53:20 AM

Glenn Sacks, a commentor on MensNewsDaily with his own fathers' rights oriented radio program wrote, "I think we all can agree that parental abductions are an evil, and that in some extreme cases they are the lesser evil. I do know fathers whose situations are so terrible and unjust that parental abduction is defensible. What evidence is there that Lowell Jaks' case is one of them?

Sacks is dead wrong... had he said "I do know children whose situations are so terrible and unjust that parental abduction is defensible" then maybe he would have had an argument.

What constitutes an "extreme case"? Extreme for the father? See, that's what really bugs me.... it's all about them.... and not about the child/ren.

Jaks' case is NOT extreme. He had visitation daily, according to his own blog. He hasn't been "gainfully" employed for many years. What Jaks' did was not in his son's best interest... but in Jaks' selfish interests. Why doesn't Sacks use his forum to ask for Jaks' to return his son? Or even post a link to the "wanted" poster? Isn't it in the child's best interest to be returned to his family, school, and community instead of being a fugitive? Just how is being a fugitive, on the run, in hiding, better for this child?

These so called "activists" actions don't match their words. They say they are "for the child" but their actions say they are "for the father".


Posted by: Chief at Feb 23, 2004 10:39:23 AM

Radley Balko:

"Hey, wait a minute!

I've never agreed with Richard Bennett's bigoted views!"

You're right - I was being unfair and unclear there. It was that photograph of Del Martin marrying her partner that you reluctantly considered that Bennett might be right - in that instance only. I don't agree that Martin is the evil witch that Bennett makes her out to be, although I think that reading her works now is like looking at a time capsule. Bennett is the one with the bigoted views.

I've read some of your blog. I like it, especially the discussions about trade.

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Feb 23, 2004 4:29:24 PM

Chief:

[quoting Lowell Jaks]I do know fathers whose situations are so terrible and unjust that parental abduction is defensible. What evidence is there that Lowell Jaks' case is one of them?[end quote]

Sacks is dead wrong... had he said "I do know children whose situations are so terrible and unjust that parental abduction is defensible" then maybe he would have had an argument.

What constitutes an "extreme case"? Extreme for the father? See, that's what really bugs me.... it's all about them.... and not about the child/ren.

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Yeah, Jaks really blew his cover there, didn't he?

Posted by: Trish Wilson at Feb 23, 2004 4:49:17 PM

Yeah, Jaks really blew his cover there, didn't he?


Yep! Although, Jaks' doesn't corner the market on it. Many of them do this. Doesn't take long for most to figure it out though. Especially Judge's -- they see right through them. Like I said, their actions don't match their words and it trips em up every single time. Then they yell "the Court's are biased!" among other things. ::::insert major eyeroll here:::: However, the good dads don't seem to have this problem. Wonder why that is?

I admit, I've heard of a few bad rulings, but I've heard of FAR more fair rulings.

Posted by: Chief at Feb 23, 2004 6:59:45 PM

No need to feel insecure or left out...they make a male Real Doll.
You can beat him up, berate him, make him feel worthless and invalid...you can even "mutilate" him(but only once) and then feel completely justified and free of consequence. Instead of a tupperware party, you can have a 'beat in' party.

Oh...by the way...that eerie feeling that something is missing is the fact that they're not real...they're just sex-toys. You know...like a vibrator.

Posted by: Anonymous at Feb 25, 2004 12:23:57 PM