My name is Gail Mulczynski.  My daughter’s name is Megan Mulczynski.  I’m tired of hiding my head in the sand.  I am weary of being the keeper of secrets.  This is my story.  It is written partly as a rebuttal to my ex-husband’s blog titled, but mainly as a witness that unbelievable abuse does occur in this day and age.  It occurs in seemingly “happy, normal,” families of various classes. My story is not filled with half-truths, guesses of occurrences, or lies.  It is my true history.  It is not a complete history, of course, because of lack of time and space.
What you will read may seem unbelievable.  In earlier days other types of abuse such as incest and abuse within the Catholic church were not thought to be possible or true either.  Victimization, brainwashing, ritual abuse torture, exists in our society in average households and average families, not only in prisoner-of-war situations.  If you read or hear the news, there are situations of abuse by clergy, cult-like abuse situations, recent report of Austrian father who kept adult daughter captive in his basement, etc…. My story, as personal as it is, needs to be told even if people choose not to believe.  I believe one day, the current and future generations will be forced to face these atrocities and deal with the unbelievable.  Here is the condensed version of my story.


I was born into a dysfunctional family in the city of Chicago.  I was the youngest of four children and some time after I was born my mother’s husband abandoned his family.  My mother’s mother (my grandmother) lived with us when I was young.  She was an abusive woman and transferred that abuse to my mother who abused me.  Generational abuse is not uncommon.  The abuse was never talked about or acknowledged.  Due to doubts of my paternity, my siblings and my mother blamed my father’s leaving us on me.  I became the scapegoat.

The abuse I suffered by the hands of my grandmother, mother, and then my siblings was awful.  It was mostly sexual, physical, and verbal abuse.  I was born in 1957 and abuse was not a topic of conversation on the radio or TV.  There is no need at this point in time to be detailed about the abuse.  It would serve no purpose.  Needless to say, I was abused from the time I was very little.  I put the abuse aside in my mind, went on my daily routines of life, and tried to be a “good, little, obedient” girl who wanted to be loved.  I became a quiet, yet intelligent student who was raised Catholic and attended 13 years of Catholic schooling.

I met my ex-husband, Tom Mulczynski (or Thomas Mulczynski), in 1977 when I was twenty years old.  At this point I was still being abused by my family — mainly my brother, Jim, who was four years older than me.  I was trained to be an obedient child who did not question my situation much.  It was not the period of time when running away was not seen as a viable option.  I had threatened to report the abuse to the police and suffered dearly for that threat.  When I met Tom, I was searching for a “prince charming”; I guess… someone to love and who would love me.  I had not dated much before meeting Tom.  My mother did not approve of the few suitors I did have, but she did like Tom.  That should have been a red flag to me … yet I wanted out of my family life and Tom said he loved me.

Tom and I lived together before we were married in 1984.  His abuse of me had already started soon after we dated and continued when we lived together in California in the late 1970’s/early 1980’s.  It started as physical abuse, escalated to sexual abuse, then to total control of my mind and my body.  I did not go to the authorities until 2003.  I was too scared, too obedient, too used to being the good daughter, the good girlfriend, and eventually the good wife.  If anyone has been through either child abuse and/or spouse abuse (battered wife, domestic violence) — you might be able to relate the learned helplessness, to the fear, to the knowledge that you would be punished for any attempt to leave the situation.  Some professionals say there are three ways to respond to danger – flight, fight, or freeze.  My way to respond was to freeze.  At the beginning of my relationship with Tom, I would try to fight him when he abused me.  I learned that I was helpless against him and that any effort I made to escape the abuse would result in more physical/abuse torture.   We moved from Chicago twice and lived away from my abusive family and my good friends.  For most of my marriage with Tom, I did not work outside the home.  Tom kept track of my schedule.  I had to report all facets of my life to him – what I did, when I did it, who I spoke with and what we spoke of, etc..  The abuse was weekly, then almost daily and it was a normal routine of life.

You might ask why did I marry Tom if he was being abusive to me.  That is a great question.  During the time before our marriage in 1984, Tom was having an affair with my sister, Kathy.  There were times that Tom and Kathy joined forces and abused me together.  Mind you that all I knew in my life up to that point was that I was no good and worthy of abuse.  I lived with shame …  I had no self esteem  …  I was nothing but a person who deserved abuse because that is what I was taught from an early age.  When Tom wanted to marry me, he promised me he would cut off his relationship with Kathy, and he would not abuse me anymore.  Naively, with a fairytale mentality, I believed him and said yes.  We were married.  Tom applied for government jobs and found one that took us to Illinois by St. Louis, MO.  We moved in 1985 and have never returned to live in Chicago again.

Unfortunately, Tom did not stop being abusive to me.  My life became more and more isolated.  In order for me to function, I did what I have always done.  In public I put on the appearance that everything was fine and normal.  My day time life was supposedly normal and healthy, then the horror of the abuse was my story in the evening and nighttime.  It is a pattern that was normal and never changed until I separated my Tom in 2003.

Tom and I lived by St. Louis until around 1989 when we moved to Germany.  Tom’s job was/is a U.S. civil service job working for the U.S. Air Force.  We lived in Germany for four and a half years that first time.  During that time Tom and I continued with our life as we always had.  We appeared happy and content in public.  In the off time, Tom abused me — mostly sexually by this time.  There were times (beginning in California) when Tom would bring others into the sexual situation.  I cannot recall if Tom usually got monetary benefit from this or if he did it for the pleasure of seeing me suffer or both.  While in Germany during this time, I became pregnant twice and miscarried twice early in the pregnancies.

We returned to the St. Louis area in 1993 and I became pregnant with my daughter, Megan.  During my pregnancy with Megan, the abuse stopped; and, I naively hoped it would never occur again.  Megan was born in 1994 in St. Louis.  I had stopped being a practicing Catholic in 1978 (the year we moved to California) and with the birth of my daughter, the urge to return to a church struck me.  I researched various religions, but knew I wanted to return to the Catholic Church.  Tom (who was an atheist when I met him, although he was raised Catholic by his parents who originally were from Poland) agreed to call the local priest and ask about getting Megan baptized.  Tom informed me the priest refused because we were not practicing Catholics.  Tom often did not tell me the truth, but I accepted it without question.  A couple years later, I did return to the religion of my childhood.  Tom agreed and we met with the priest, had our marriage blessed in the church, and had our daughter baptized. (I later learned that my marriage in the church is not valid because there were no witnesses except for the priest.)


In 1998, we moved to Germany for the second time.   It took Tom and I time to find the perfect house in Germany.  We moved into a big, single family, two-story dwelling in a small German village.  Our house was in the country with few neighbors and much land.  It was an isolated area.  There were many rooms, including a full basement (where much of the abuse occurred.)  This German house, as most, are build out of big, thick cement blocks which insulate the house from cold, heat, and from noise.

During the marriage and the abuse, I began to medicate myself with alcohol to numb the pain.  Tom and I would both drink in the evenings.  In Germany we went out to dinner frequently; and I would have a glass or two of wine.  One the drive home, Tom would buy a bottle of wine for me and during the course of the long evening (which abuse almost always occurred) I would consume the bottle.  Tom usually had a glass or two of his red wine.  I had tried to cut back on my drinking over the years and tried to enlist Tom’s help.  He enabled me by buying the wine each night and offered at times to buy cases of wine which I always refused.

Tom and I decided I would homeschool my daughter.  Our house was 20-30 minutes from the base school.  Megan was already reading and advanced for her age, although she would have been one of the youngest in her class.  Tom started taking Karate Tech classes on base and reached the level of black belt.  Megan also took Karate Tech classes.  The classes were not completely based on age; but on age and/or belt rank.

The abuse became more sadistic and ritualistic.  By now, Tom was an expert in knowing how to abuse me without leaving marks.  He was confident of his total control over me and was challenged to control not only my body, but my mind and even my soul.  Tom continued to abuse me on a nightly basis.  In time, the Karate Tech teacher, three adult male students, and one female adult student became involved in the situation as abusers — not on a daily basis, but more than a few occasions.  Later, a Catholic priest who was an Air Force Reserve priest – Fr. Kevin Randall – who I had gone to for pastoral counseling was also one of the abusers.

Tom has always told me I would not be believed and that people would think I was crazy if I ever confided to anyone regarding the abuse.  He also threatened to harm my daughter more than he already had.  During the abuse he would hurt Megan more if I did not obey Tom, and he would hurt me more if Megan did not obey Tom.  Tom also told me he would kill Megan and make it look like I did it if I told anyone of the abuse and if I did not obey him.  To say I was terrified of my husband would be a gross understatement.

In order to survive and to deal with everyday life, I subconsciously put aside all memories of the abuse because it was too painful to face, because I thought I wouldn’t be believed, and plain fear.

Without any intervention from anyone I sought help regarding my alcohol use.  After several meetings with Kevin Randall over a year or so, I again confided that my use of alcohol bothered me.  He referred me to Fr. Tom Doyle, an Air Force Catholic Chaplain who worked on Ramstein Air Base (the same base Tom worked on).  I started meeting with Tom Doyle around August 2002 regarding my alcohol issues.  I once told him I thought abuse was in my past and that I was having marital problems.  Tom Doyle referred me to a licensed marriage and family counselor (Virginia licensure) named Fr. Marcantonio.  Fr. Marcantonio is also a Catholic priest who was a priest at Landstuhl Post.  I started seeing Fr. Marcantonio for therapy in November 2002.  In December, 2002, I joined AA, attended 90 meetings in 90 days, and have been sober since.  During the last year of living in the same house with Tom, I was sober.  Tom continued to offer me wine and at times during the abuse he would try to force me to drink it.

I started to write a journal outside of the therapy sessions.  In therapy, I would read my entries to Fr. Marcantonio.  I started to let myself face the truth, to remember, and to talk about the abuse to someone I could trust.  In the journals, I would write the memories of the abuse and also my personal reflections regarding the abuse and my daily life.  At no time was I hypnotized by my therapist.  In fact, Fr. Marcantonio listened and asked questions seldomly.  My entries are detailed accounts of the abuse – both childhood and adult abuse situations.  It was difficult to share these entries; and, PTSD is an effect of the physical and psychological abuse/torture.

In the summer of 2003, I decided to call each of my siblings to speak with them of the abuse from my childhood/young adulthood.  My mother died in 1994 before Megan was born.  After that occurred, Linda and her husband, Ron, discovered through Social Security that Robert Cannon (my mother’s husband) died earlier.  He had been diagnosed as having schizophrenic after he returned from World War II.  When Robert had doubts about my being his child, he left my mother.  It is possible there were also other reasons he left.

I called my elder sister, Linda, and asked her what she remembered about the abuse towards me.  Linda has always told us that she has very little memory of her own childhood.  (I have read that is common in childhoods that contain abuse.)  Linda did not recall the abuse happening and doubted it did.  She did not deny it, just did not remember it.  Linda’s husband, Ron, was involved in the familial abuse against me; yet I felt no need or desire to speak with him.

My brother, Jim (who is now deceased), was an alcoholic who was sometimes in recovery and sometimes not.  He had been sober again for a year or so when I spoke with him about the abuse.  Jim had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and had been on medication for years.  When I discussed my past with him, he told me he loved me and he was sorry for anything that did happen.  Jim said he had some memories which related.  Others were not clear.  Again, he apologized.

My sister, Kathy (now Kathy Pranschke), had been in therapy for PTSD for many years.  She knew she had been abused by my grandmother (our mother’s mother).  Kathy denied that I was abused.  Kathy also confided that she had visited a therapist who hypnotized her.  The abuse Kathy remembered was so horrendous (closet, feces) that Kathy believed it could not have happened.  So Kathy searched for another therapist who would not recommend hypnosis. Kathy married late in life — after Tom and I had moved away and would not be returning.  Kathy’s husband, Joe, was never involved in any of the abuse against me and I doubt he knows that Kathy and Tom were sexually involved in the past.

After speaking with my siblings in the summer of 2003, I decided there was no reason for me to have further contact with any of them.  It was a decision I do not regret.  A family member can only be missed if there is authentic love involved.  Love was a word, not an action in my family of origin.  On January 9, 2005, I received a phone call from Kathy or Linda informing me that my brother, Jim, had died.  I did not return to the States for the funeral and I have not talked to anyone in my family since.

In August, 2003, I went to a psych hospital in St. Louis, MO for depression.  It was my choice.    I decided it would be good for me to get away and do something positive for myself.  I stayed there for about five days.  The psychiatrist interviewed me immediately after I arrived, which was after the long international flight.  He did prescribe zyprexa and told me it was for mood issues.  I took the medication during the short stay in the hospital, then discontinued it when I left the hospital (after discovering zyprexa wasn’t only for mood issues and because I did not see any benefit to it).  The only medication I took (besides the Zyprexa that I took during the time I stayed in the hospital) was Celexa (which I took for a year or so), anti-depressant that was prescribed to me by Dr. Susan Hendricks (a U.S. Army military psychiatrist) and thyroid medication.  Since I am a recovering alcoholic, I am and was then hesitant to take any medication.  For the past two years, I have not been on any medication except for thyroid medication.  Even when I was taking Celexa, I was on the lowest dose.

I continued to see Fr. Tom Doyle and he was my mentor and friend.  Tom Doyle and I had a mutual friend, M.  (I hesitate to use her true name because she has a child.)  One time I had M. and Tom Doyle over to my house for lunch.  M. brought her son.  Megan and M.’s son played very well together and became friends from church and outside of church.

Tom Doyle would sometimes travel.  Once he brought earrings back for M. and a set for me.  M. confided to me that she was seeing another man other than her husband.  She was in love with this person.  For whatever reason, she did not want to tell me his name, etc…  I respected that knowing that the military world is very small and she also told me it could negatively impact her husband’s career.  Eventually over time she told me that it was someone who promised to take her to Scotland (?), to this island where a monastery was located; etc..  There was at least one time when M. and I met at Tom Doyle’s house, talked, and then Tom Doyle would drive M. home instead of me driving M.  M. and I became close friends and continued to have long phone conversations after she moved from Germany to the States with her husband and son.  M. was disappointed that the relationship with the man did not go further.  She felt betrayed.  During one of these conversations she let it slip that the man was Tom Doyle; although, by this time I had put two and two together.   Tom Doyle is an advocate for victims who were abused by clergy.  He is famous in this arena.  M. wondered to me if the affair constituted abuse by a priest (clergy abuse).  She wondered if because she was an adult woman and knew he was a priest, if it was all her fault.  She wondered if she was not awed somewhat by his priestly authority.  Also, M. was around 20 years younger than Tom Doyle.  Tom Doyle knew she was married and had the affair with her.  He is still and was a priest at the time.  Those were concerns I could not answer.  M. was still in touch with Tom Doyle, knew her marriage was almost destroyed and might be destroyed by all of this, and she still had feelings for Tom Doyle.  I was a friend who listened.  I did not have answers.  M. and I stopped being in touch.  She was having physical problems as well as marital problems still.  I was trying to disentangle myself from my own problems.  I truly hope she has been able to work through her issues and is okay now.

After M. returned to the States, I was still meeting and speaking with Tom Doyle. Sometimes we would meet for coffee and other times for dinner.  Our conversation revolved around my alcohol issues, his life, my life, M., etc…  One time Tom Doyle did take me to dinner in Metz which is a town in France … and France is very close to the part of Germany we resided in.  Tom (my husband at the time) knew where I went and with whom.  He still had total control over me.  Tom never supported my recovery from alcohol, yet he never told me I could not attend AA, etc…  Tom is a very intelligent (Mensa-type), strategic man.  (For more information about perpetrators and their normal appearances see page 75  of “Trauma and Recovery” by Judith Herman.)

I continued therapy with Fr. Marcantonio and as it became clear that the abuse was still occurring, Tom was confronted by Dr. Susan Hendricks (Army psychiatrist from Landstuhl Regional Medical Center -Army) and by Fr. Marcantonio.  Tom was not only abusing me sexually, but he was also trying to get me to commit suicide by cutting myself in a specific, ritualistic manner.  Dr. Hendricks and Fr. Marcantonio did tell Tom that if anything happened to me, they would report what they knew to the police.  Basically it was a warning to Tom to stop the abuse.

The abuse did not stop, so the following week (in November 2003), Tom was confronted by Dr. Hendricks, Fr. Marcantonio, and myself.  Unbeknownst to Tom, my car held my suitcases and I was ready to leave with Megan to run to a German domestic violence shelter; but Tom unwillingly agreed (due to pressure by Dr. Hendricks) to give me the house key and he would go elsewhere.

During this time period, I withdrew around $40,000 from our joint accounts.  It was apparent I would need money for my living expenses, apartment, etc..  Tom had the job and the financial means to live.  I, as a stay-at-home housewife and homeschooling mother, didn’t.  We had around $100,000 in our joint accounts and for whatever reasons – misplaced loyalty, fairness or fear, I did not even take half of our funds.  At this point, I had been married to Tom for 19 years.

As soon as I faced the fact that my daughter was being abused by Tom and the others, the authorities were notified.  (I had told Fr. Marcantonio, who told Dr. Susan Hendricks, the psychiatrist, who then reported it to Family Advocacy at Landstuhl).  Tom is a GS employee, but we were residing in Germany and living off base.  Jurisdictional issues complicated the matter.  The Office of Special Investigations (U.S. Air Force) was notified and investigated the abuse.  The German police had actual jurisdiction because the majority of the abuse happened on German soil and because neither Tom nor I were U.S. military.  Megan and I also reported incidents of the abuse, the crime, which occurred on Ramstein Air Base in the AYA (which is the building the Karate Tech classes were held).  I was told that the OSI would complete the initial investigation, give their report to the German police, who then had jurisdiction over the case.

The OSI and Landstuhl Family Advocacy (Ava Imhof) advised me not to have Megan or I mention that Tom abused her while the investigation was underway so that the OSI would retain the element of surprise (and could search Tom’s location and investigate the others).  I listened to that advice; therefore, neither Megan nor I mentioned the abuse perpetrated by her father when we talked to the Kusel Jugendamt (German Youth authority) person, Frau Kramer or to Herr Stefan, the therapist for her supervised visitation with her father.

Unfortunately Tom discovered the investigation was underway and he called the OSI himself.  (When Tom left Germany in August 2005, I spoke with my German attorney.  He told me that the OSI report was being translated into German to be given to the German police.  But now that Tom had returned to the U.S., he said the German police would more than likely not investigate at all.)

Megan was interviewed by the OSI.  If we had been U.S. military, child interview experts would have been called in to interview Megan (or we would have gone to the U.S. to be interviewed).  Since we were not military (and even though Ava Imhof, Landstuhl Family Advocacy, tried to get professionals to interview Megan), an OSI agent interviewed Megan in a billeting (hotel) room.  There was a huge camera set in the corner facing Megan and the couch.  Megan was interviewed, used proper body part names (which Tom and I had taught her over the years using children’s books), and she was intimidated.  The taped interview was sent to a military psychologist in the States who said Megan was not emotional enough and that the abuse probably did not occur.  (Later Megan spoke of that huge camera in the room.  It did not help that she had been taped by Tom during the abuse.)

I was advised by OSI and Ava Imhof, Family Advocacy, not to speak with Megan of the abuse.  I could respond to her by listening if she brought up the abuse.  Megan did talk to me of the abuse.  She also drew a picture of a room that had videotapes in it.  In her journal Megan writes, “I think it might have been Dale’s wife, Kimberly’s house.”  Megan told me she was videotaped and that others were involved in the abuse.  She told me more than once that her dad made her repeat things over and over (after the abuse incidents).   Megan wrote her memories (blurbs as she called them) on paper in 2004, 2005 and 2006; and I gave copies of them to the OSI.  I’m not sure if the German courts actually saw Megan’s journal copies and I do not remember if Dr. Brunger (German child psychiatrist) did.  It seems to me the German court and Dr. Brunger mainly relied on the OSI report and Masino’s input.  Megan stated in her handwritten document of January 14, 2007, that Dr. Brunger’s demeanor changed after the first interview and Megan wrote “We talked about the abuse a little, but mostly he avoided the subject completely.”  I have copies of Megan’s journal entries.

Megan told me she was abused by Fr. Kevin Randall.  She reported it to Fr. Brubaker who reported it to the church authorities.  Fr. Marcantonio spoke with Fr. Tom Doyle on the telephone and informed him that Fr. Kevin Randall was involved.  Tom Doyle and Fr. Kevin Randall are close friends, which Fr. Marcantonio did not realize until he spoke with Tom Doyle about Kevin Randall.  Tom Doyle refused to believe that his friend could be involved in abuse regarding a child, etc….  At this point, Tom Doyle and I no longer had any contact.  Tom Doyle was influential in uncovering the child abuse scandal in the Catholic Church and is a strong advocate for the victims including many who have no actual physical proof of the abuse – and some only from “recovered memories”.  From what I know of Tom Doyle, he most likely would have gotten involved if the priest Megan and I both named was any other but Kevin Randall, a close friend.  My respect for Tom Doyle for refusing to help in our situation has lessened, but it does not surprise me that he would choose friendship over the truth in this situation.  I think it is quite sad because for all of Tom Doyle’s flaws (and we all have flaws), I thought he was a man of integrity when it came to the advocacy of sexual abuse victims in the Catholic Church.

Megan also told me that she doesn’t remember when she wasn’t abused.  Megan recently told me that she never felt close to the father like her friends were.  They would miss their father while he was deployed and be so happy when he returned.  Megan said she never felt that way regarding her father.  Megan told me of being raped by her father.  She told me she was afraid of him.  When we were in Spokane she told me she was afraid he’d find us, take her, and put her in his basement of his house to abuse her.  While we were in Spokane, Megan could relax.  She would talk about her dad when she needed or wanted to.  I still to this day have not told her much regarding the abuse.

I scheduled an exam for Megan through Landstuhl Regional Medical Center and an Army pediatrician.  Ava Imhof (Landstuhl Family Advocacy) had wanted Megan and I to travel to the United States (as stated previously)  as a military family in our situation would have been allowed to have professionals interview Megan, examine her, etc…  The military would not allow that.  Once again since Tom was a civilian working for the U.S. Air Force – he had some rights of U.S. military personnel but not all.  That fact complicated every facet of the sexual abuse investigation, the courts, etc..  Megan did have an exam for signs of sexual abuse.  Exams in children can easily be inconclusive as the pediatrician explained to me in detail.  At the time, the current newer SANE (exam) was not used in Landstuhl.  The pediatrician who examined Megan verified that the results did not prove that sexual abuse did occur and it did not prove sexual abuse did not occur.  A child’s body at that age heals quickly.

While being separated, Tom would call on the telephone to speak with Megan.  I did exactly what I was advised by my German attorney.  I did not interfere.  I gave the phone to Megan even though she told me she did not want to speak with her father.  Megan would get on the phone and tell her dad she did not want to speak with him, and then hang up the phone.

Tom took the custody/visitation/divorce case to the German court system.  In the German system, the divorce (dissolution of marriage and division of retirement monies only) is one case.  The child custody is another case.  Alimony is another case.  Child support is also a separate case.  The Landstuhl court ruled that Megan needed to have supervised visitation with her father.  The judge ruled that Frau Brumen’s office would be the site for the visitation.  I objected because Tom had seen Frau Brumen for some therapy sessions and she was the head person (owner?) of that therapy group.  I opted for a more neutral site.  The judge ruled otherwise and Megan was seen by Herr Stefan, a therapist in the same office as Frau Brumen (Tom’s counselor).  At this point, Megan and I were following the advise of the OSI and not telling Herr Stefan that Megan had been abused by her father.  (This was especially important since Herr Stefan informed us that whatever we said could be told to the father.)  Megan had two supervised visitation sessions in the summer of 2004.  Herr Stefan and Megan set the ground rules which included ones that said Tom would sit away from her, no physical contact, and that Megan could play her Game Boy during the visitations.  The sessions were unsuccessful.  At one session (according to what Megan reported to me), Tom took the earphones from her ears.  Megan got angry and walked out of the room.  She was then not forced to continue with supervised visitation.  She had not seen her father since, except in passing in public situations.

On December 9, 2004, a German court in Landstuhl unexpectedly gave Tom custody of Megan.  Without any forethought, I calmly took Megan out of the courtroom past Tom.  Megan and I quickly went to my car which was parked blocks away.  We hid for about one week until my lawyer filed papers and the German appeals court set aside that ruling.  (While we were in hiding those days, Tom went into our German residence and took many items of Megan’s including books, toys, and a bookcase.  In the hospital notes from Dominion Hospital in Virginia Megan makes reference to gifts her dad gave her this Christmas, 2007, that were items that were taken from the house in December of 2004.)  Megan was to remain in my physical custody until psych evaluations were completed on Megan and on me and until the final decision was made by the appeals court in Zweibrucken.  Tom was not required to have a pscyh evaluation because he was being investigated by the American OSI.  (In the U.S., usually both parents would be evaluated.)  At this point, I thought the courts were beginning to listen to Megan and I as far as the abuse was concerned.

I took Megan to see Dr. Susan Hendricks for counseling.  Col. Susan Hendricks is a child psychiatrist.  She is the doctor who prescribed my anti-depressant and she knew of my case from Fr. Marcantonio (who consulted her frequently) and from myself.  Fr. Marcantonio was my therapist.  He also was the pastor of the Landstuhl Catholic Community on post.  Megan knew Fr. Marcantonio from attending Mass and her participation in the Catholic activities.  At no time was Megan in therapy with Fr. Marcantonio.   Dr. Hendricks PCS’ed or moved from Germany since her tour there was finished.  I tried to find another counselor for Megan and was only able to find one on Ramstein Air Base.  Dr. Masino (Ramstein Air Base) agreed to take Megan as a patient.  There was some initial confusion regarding who had custody of Megan at this time and I showed proof that I had physical custody of Megan while the appeal for custody was being considered (and while the psych evaluations by the German people were completed).

In January 2005, Megan and I met together with Dr. Masino initially for 15-20 minutes.  The rest of the appointments were Megan and Dr. Masino only except for a few where Megan was always present also.  Megan began to tell me that she did not want to see Dr. Masino.  I thought she was just hesitant to be in therapy.  Then she began to tell me that she did not think/feel that Dr. Masino believed her when she spoke of being abused by Tom.  One time she said she asked Dr. Masino if he believed her and he was evasive.  Another time she asked again if Dr. Masino believed the abuse happened and he said that he believed she believed it.  I decided to take Megan out of therapy with Dr. Masino, met with him, and gave him a letter explaining the reasons for the termination of therapy.

In Germany I discovered when I finally was able to get copies of parts of Megan’s psych records from Dr. Masino’s office that Tom had been speaking with Dr. Masino very soon after Megan began therapy with her.  It appears unethical that Dr. Masino would not let it be clear that he was speaking to both the father and the mother of the child.  (After we were discovered in Spokane, and after Megan was institutionalized in Dominion Hospital, VA, I was able to get further records.)  Tom and Dr. Masino were in much contact.  Tom informed Dr. Masino of “his side”.  Mind you, I told Dr. Masino only the bare minimum of “my side” because it seemed important that the child, Megan, be heard by the therapist without the therapist being bombarded with both sides of a bitter custody battle where abuse was involved.

Also, Dr. Forbes was Dr. Masino’s coworker and superior.  Dr. Forbes’ daughter took Karate Tech classes (and could still be taking them).  According to Dr. Masino’s records, Dr. Forbes recommended Dr. Masino contact Tom (around March 4, 2005) although Dr. Masino was already in contact with Tom.  There appears to be a conflict of interest if your daughter was taking classes from the abuser(s) that were reported to the authorities and you were in Dr. Forbes’ position.  As far as I recall, it was also Dr. Forbes who made it difficult for me to get Megan’s records.

Dr. Masino at no time contacted my therapist, Fr. Marcantonio, who is a licensed marriage and family counselor (VA licensure) to ask about me, my diagnosis, etc…  Dr. Masino took Tom’s opinions and as far as I know did not research any of the facts himself.    Within Megan having four or five visits with Dr. Masino (and Dr. Masino having much contact with Tom), Dr. Masino decided the abuse could not have happened and that Megan had Shared Psychotic Disorder.  In order to have shared psychotic disorder, I would have to be psychotic and/or delusional.  Dr. Masino made his diagnosis before I was even evaluated by the German psychiatrist, Dr. Fees.  (This is verified in Masino’s psych records for Megan which I finally received copies in January, 2008.)  The decision to take child away from me, put her in psych facility, then give Megan to her father was made months before Megan and I even met with Dr. Brunger (German child psychiatrist) for Megan’s psych evaluation.  That decision was made in March, 2005, by Dr. Masino, Ramstein Family Advocacy, and Frau Kramer of the German Youth Authority before I was even evaluated by the German psych experts.  Frau Kramer of the German Youth Authority had also been in touch at least one time with Dr. Fees (German psychiatrist) before my evaluation.   These decisions were based on input from Tom ……..  not input from me, not input from my therapist.  It appears apparent that my German psych evaluation (Dr. Fees) was tainted with information from Tom, Dr. Masino, German Youth Authority even before I was evaluated.  My therapist, Fr. Marcantonio, never was able to input Dr. Fees’ evaluation.  It was very one-sided.  Megan’s evaluation with (German) Dr. Brunger was tainted with whatever Dr. Fees’ information was and then added to.  While I was working with the German legal and psych system, Tom was undermining the process by using the American military system via Ramstein Air Base (which did not have jurisdiction in our case at all) to influence the German psych and legal system.  It worked.  The evaluations were biased.  My daughter and I never had a chance of getting fair evaluations.

Before Dr. Masino decided on this diagnosis, he thought it could be parental alienation syndrome or PAS (which is not even an acceptable diagnosis by the APA, but was a diagnosis Ms. Blumen the German psychologist Tom had seen for counseling mentioned),  then Dr. Masino thought it could be Munchausen by Proxy, then Fictitious disorder by Proxy.  He finally settled on Shared Psychotic Disorder.

Dr. Masino, Tom, and others decided to contact Ramstein’s Family Advocacy.  (Landstuhl’s Family Advocacy (Army) had already decided Tom was guilty of emotional abuse towards me.)  Without my knowledge, without my therapist’s knowledge, Dr. Masino, contacted the Ramstein Family Advocacy (Air Force).  When Landstuhl brought charges against Tom for the abuse, he was notified and able to defend himself.  Unfortunately Ramstein Family Advocacy did not notify me.  I had no knowledge I was being charged with emotional abuse.  I wasn’t even given the opportunity to defend myself.  I was judged mentally ill (by my daughter’s therapist, not by my own therapist of years), my daughter was diagnosed as mentally ill, and there was no recourse since we did not even know this was occurring.  (What Dr. Susan Hendricks knew of the Dr. Masino situation, I do not know.  As far as I know she hadn’t diagnosed me.  Dr. Hendricks knew more of my case, than Dr. Masino.)  The excuse not to notify me or Fr. Marcantonio (my therapist) was that I would “kidnap” Megan again.   At this point I had only protected Megan once by running with her after the Landstuhl custody ruling on December 9, 2004.  By protecting Megan that way, I did succeed for the first time to have Megan’s voice be heard by the courts and my own in the German appeals court.  They took the sexual abuse charges seriously.  If I was going to run with Megan, I would not have stayed to be evaluated by the German psychiatrist and for Megan to be evaluated.  I was committed to the legal appeal in the German courts.   I have always been a law-abiding citizen and I was naively hoping that the German legal system would see the truth.  Unfortunately the American military system (Air Force) decided to take matters in their own hands with Tom’s input and not give me the fair chance to defend myself.  The American military system had no legal jurisdiction.

Megan was correct that Dr. Masino did not believe her.  She was also correct that I should not have made her continue therapy, especially since I know now it wasn’t therapy.  As various entries by Dr. Masino in Megan’s files, Megan was being kept returning for therapy sessions so mother would not flee.  As other entries show, Megan distrusted him and would not speak openly about the abuse.

In Megan’s declaration which was submitted to the  Spokane court dated November 27, 2007, Megan wrote, “Meanwhile, I was interviewed by the OSI at age 9 and Dr. Masino at age 10.  I was hurt when I discovered my therapist (Masino) was in contact with my dad without my knowledge.  Plus, I talked to Dr. Brunger at age 11.  None of them believed me, however which is part of the reason why I’m having a difficult time writing this letter.  I wonder if this statement will make any difference, because people have not believed my story.”  (See the complete statement at the end of this summary.)

I realize now what a bad decision I made having Megan see a therapist she did not trust.  It is a decision I will regret for the rest of my life.

Let me clarify the base situation.  Ramstein Air Base is an American Air Force base near Landstuhl (which is an American Army post).  The Karate Tech classes, the chapel we attended as a family, the location of Tom’s work, and most other places we frequented were on Ramstein Air Base.  Fr. Marcantonio, Dr. Susan Hendricks, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, the chapel Megan and I switched to eventually, and other services were on Landstuhl.  (The initial German court was in Landstuhl Village – a German village and not base/post related.  The appeals court was in Zweibrucken, another German city.)

People are human – wanting to protect their friends and trusted teachers, clergy, etc.  Unfortunately abusers are from all walks of life and all career fields.  I wonder how Tom discovered he was being investigated by the OSI.  Who was responsible for the leak?  It is hard for a community to investigate their own.  If the German police would have investigated from the beginning, would the outcome been any different?  Of course, it is too late to change the course of this recent history.  I do hope others and myself can learn from these errors of judgment, so that future investigations can be conducted more fairly and justly.    After I had the initial interview with OSI, I had hardly any contact with them.  Looking back at the situation, I realize that I was not considered credible or believed early in the case and neither was Megan.  I do know that Agent Verenbec of the OSI was in close contact with Tom, the person he was apparently investigating.  In fact one day when I was working I received a phone call from Agent Verenbec informing me that Tom was trying to get a hold of me to ask me about my car.  I never understood why Agent Verenbec (a busy OSI investigator) would be using his time to contact me on Tom’s behalf regarding an issue about our car.  It does not appear professional or maybe Agent Verenbec was overinvolved?

Also, as parents, many do not want to believe that someone they trusted their children with could be abusing children or raping adults.  On a U.S. military base, people tend to think they are safer, more protected from crime and definitely from abusers.  Background checks are only a good tool if someone has already been convicted of a crime.  It is extremely hard for parents and victims in an average city environment to come forth and truthfully accuse an adult teacher, clergy, or any person of authority.  People are taught to become part of the military family.  Tom, Megan and even I (although I did not take Karate Tech classes) were deeply entrenched in the Karate Tech world/family.  Tom and Megan even became Karate Tech teachers as were most of the other abusers.  To accuse someone on a military base in the military environment is risky not only to victim’s own personal and family reputations, but to the military member’s livelihood – his job, his career, his promotions.  Abusers, especially of children, do not normally abuse one child and stop.

I wonder how many other children have been abused by these Karate Tech people and either did not tell their parents or the parents decided not to believe the child or not to report the abuse for fear of retaliation.  Megan mentioned to me at times that she wondered about a couple other of her peers – why they left Karate Tech, if they were ever abused, and why some stayed.  That’s from the voice of a 9-10 year old – one who was abused by these perpetrators herself.  Doesn’t it make you wonder?

I was able to come forth to report the abuse perpetrated by “Master” Jorge Ordonio, Dale Peters, Dwight Collins, Lyn and Martin Vasquez, and Fr. Kevin Randall (not Karate Tech student or teacher) to the OSI partially because I was a civilian and not military.  Megan also reported Diane and Mark LeBrun from Karate Tech as abusers in our home with their two sons being victims of abuse also.  (See ABUSE section.)  (As far as I can tell from the Internet, Karate Tech is being taught in Germany; in Aviano, Italy; and at Holloman AFB, New Mexico; and the instructors teaching more children include some of the perpetrators which we have reported and I have just listed.) On Ramstein Air Base, Master Jorge Ordonio is well known and liked.  The U.S. military world is small especially in Germany and many children and adults attended these Karate Tech classes.  Dr. Susan Hendricks (the Army Psychiatrist who Fr. Marcantonio consulted) believed I was abused by Tom and that belief was reinforced by Tom’s reaction when Fr. Marcantonio, Dr. Hendricks, and I confronted him in November 2003.  At one point Dr. Hendricks wondered if I could even be suffering from DID or MPD (multiple personality disorder) which can frequently happen in severe cases of abuse.  Fortunately that is not the case in my situation.  PTSD has been the consequence of my extensive abuse history.  Dr. Hendricks began having difficulties facing that the others could be involved when she were told they were Jorge Ordonio and other adults from Karate Tech.  Dr. Hendricks’ own son attended Karate Tech classes and was taught by these people.  Dr. Masino’s boss, Dr. Forbes’ had a daughter who participated in Karate Tech and received her black belt at a young age as did Megan.  It is hard for anyone to face that reputable adults, especially figures of authority, could be abusers.  That happened in the Catholic church and it happened in the Karate Tech and U.S. military community.  I do not know if any of the OSI agents or bosses had children or if they themselves took Karate Tech classes.  Just as women who are abused by spouses who work in the law enforcement arena many times are not believed when they report abuse or the perpetrators are not investigated in a correct manner, this situation was equally as challenging.

Also, I reported these abusers because I knew I wanted to protect Megan plus in my idealism or naivete, I thought it was the right thing to do.  Reporting, telling the truth, might help another child who has been abused and eventually save others from ever being abused in the first place.  Even then I thought maybe next time someone reports the abuser, a police member could remember my case and Megan’s.  Eventually others will come forward unless the secrecy and fear of physical harm and/or retaliation continues especially after the victim and parents see the severe consequences that Megan and I are receiving for telling the truth.

The abuse happened.  People are taught to become part of the military family.   Most likely there are other victims who are too young, too terrorized (by Karate Tech trained individuals) and parents who are fearful and hesitant of reprisals.  Tom, who already had control of me, had more physical control over me after becoming adept at Karate Tech because all he had to do was use a pressure point technique or wrist lock technique on me or Megan to render us helpless.  Megan was not a match for her father or any adult schooled in Karate Tech.  One can easily imagine what threats by martial arts adults can be used to keep children quiet.  Yet if more victims and their parents came forth, eventually we would be heard and believed.  Look at the Catholic Church abuse scandal.  Once victims stood up, came forth one by one, became vulnerable to disbelief, shame, retaliation, etc…  many were believed finally.  I hope this can happen in this situation also.

Now to continue with the chronological section of my history.  My psych evaluation by Dr. Fees (a court-appointed German Freudian psychiatrist) in June, 2005 consisted of one appointment which lasted 1 to 1-1/2 hours long.  Dr. Fees did not speak English and I do not speak much German.  A translator was needed.  The evaluation existed of an oral history.  There were no psychological testing as would be done in America.  Dr. Fees also had a letter from Frau Kramer (German Youth Authority – the person Megan nor I had spoken to of the abuse because we had been advised not to at the time).  Reference to a letter from Ms. Blumen regarding Megan and me was also mentioned in Dr. Fees’ evaluation.  As stated previously, Ms. Blumen is a therapist who heads the firm that Herr Stefan, the supervised visitation therapist who Megan nor I could tell of the abuse at the time because the OSI and Ava Imhof advised us not to.  Neither Megan nor I spoke with Ms. Blumen.  In fact, Tom had initially gone to Ms. Blumen for some kind of counseling before we were told by the Landstuhl court judge that Megan had to have supervised visitation there.  I wanted a neutral place and told the judge that Tom had seen Ms. Blumen for counselling.  The judge paid no heed.

Dr. Fees’ diagnosis of me as having schizophrenia was based on this one appointment and the information from Frau Kramer and Ms. Blumen (with possible input from other sources.)  The fact that my possible father and that my brother were diagnosed with schizophrenia influenced that decision as well as the information I gave to him regarding the nature of the abuse.  Schizophrenia is not normally even diagnosed in an adult of 45 years plus.  Schizophrenia would have showed up before then and/or medication would have already been needed.  (I did not know of the two letters from Frau Kramer or Ms. Blumen until recently when I read the entire report in English, since the original report was in German.)

The evaluation of Megan by Dr. Brunger (a court appointed Germany child psychiatrist) followed Dr. Fees’ evaluation.  That evaluation consisted of three appointments of a total of 6 or 7 hours (which included time with me, time with Megan and time with both of us).  Dr. Brunger did speak English but a translator was there.  The evaluation dates of Megan by Dr. Brunger were:  November 15, 2005, January 20, 2006, and February 3, 2006.

After the evaluation of me by Dr. Fees (German), I decided to be evaluated by Dr. Nassif of Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (Landstuhl Post – American).  When Dr. Susan Hendricks left, I would see Dr. Swanton for refills on my anti-depressant, Celexa.  Dr. Swanton transferred, then I saw Dr. Nassif for the medication.  I was never in therapy with Dr. Swanton or Dr. Nassif.  Dr. Nassif sent me to coworker, Dr. Jones, who does the evaluations.  Dr. Jones gave me one test (the MMPI?) on one day.  Dr. Jones concentrated on asking me pointed questions about the abuse.  Apparently Dr. Jones knew much about my case before I walked into his office.   He then asked me to return the next day.   I returned and Dr. Jones proceeded to give me the Rorschach test (inkblot).  After I described each “picture”, he required me to go through the entire set again and to elaborate on each picture again.  This is the evaluation that Dr. Nassif referred to in Dr. Masino’s notes of July 20, 2005.  It is apparent than when I thought I was going to a neutral, non-bias person for an evaluation, Dr. Nassif had already been in contact with Dr. Masino who had already made his diagnosis of “shared psychotic disorder” months earlier.   (That “shared psychotic disorder” diagnosis was made after only four or five appointments with Megan.)   Dr. Nassif stated he thought I may be delusional.  Dr. Pontzer in his statement which is cited in future pages of this summary refutes that diagnosis.  I have also included a copy of the two complete declarations by Dr. Pontzer, Acting Chief of Inpatient Psychiatry at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center.

In August, 2005, Tom moved back to the U.S. and I remained in Germany with my daughter until July, 2006.  Tom did send Megan mail.  I gave it to her or, many times, she’d get the mail.  She’d give it to me and say she did not want to read it.  The first time we mailed it unopened to him.  She never wanted to read anything he mailed to her.

Meanwhile I rented an apartment and returned to the workforce after many years of being a stay-at-home wife and homeschooling mother.  Megan and I lived in the apartment for over a year.  She was home schooled, played on a soccer team, participated in children’s choir, and more.  We both had many friends and a great support system.   Megan stayed with a few families when I worked.  Two of the families have many children and Megan enjoyed herself.  We were both active in the Catholic community and Megan was involved with the secular sports community.


After the lengthy court situation, my daughter and I returned to the U.S. in July, 2006.  A day or so before I returned to the U.S. with Megan, I had met with my German attorney regarding Dr. Brunger’s report.  My German attorney translated some of it to me; and he thought the court would follow Dr. Brunger’s recommendations completely.  Dr. Brunger recommended that Megan be taken from both her mother and father, given to the German Youth Authority, put into an English speaking residential (psych) facility (although my attorney knew of no English speaking ones); with the probability of custody to her father.  Megan (11 years old) knew no German.  At that time I asked if I could legally return to the U.S.  He said yes.  The lawyer said we had until August 1 to respond in court.  Somewhere around July 13, 2006, I found out via email from my German attorney that Megan might be picked up sooner (and they would not wait until the August court date) because custody was being given to the German Youth Authority so Megan could be put in a German mental facility.  I decided at that time to protect my daughter and to return to the States.  Megan told me she would run away from the German institution.  The idea that my daughter would be put into a German mental institution (not knowing the language) plus the fear that she would be a runaway in a foreign country where she did not speak the language, and the fear she would be returned to her abusive father, made the decision a moral one.  I had to protect my daughter.  Also in the decision making process, I spoke with an American military attorney who mentioned that I had not been served with any papers and that if it worked like the American system, I should be able to go.

By leaving Germany as quickly as I was able, I did leave my apartment behind with all our belongings.  I also was awarded alimony which I have forfeited for the time being or maybe forever by making the decision to protect my daughter.  I could have stayed in Germany and lived my life without my protecting my daughter, but there was no way I could abandon and betray my daughter in that manner.  I, as other women and children involved in an awful domestic violence situation, had gone to the authorities – the police, the courts, etc…  The OSI had decided there was no evidence of the abuse, but that does not mean the abuse did not occur.  The German police who had the actual jurisdiction were not investigating it further since Tom was no longer in Germany.  I, as a mother, chose the only morally right and heartfelt action — flee to America (our home country) to protect Megan.

We are both fearful of Tom, the other abusers, and future abuse.  My major concern was  protecting my daughter from her abusive, sadistic father.  Since we were in hiding, I could not use my SSN in order to rent an apartment or find employment.  I immediately contacted attorneys and tried to find a legal solution.  I also contacted several domestic violence shelters and was not able to receive assistance.  I also could not get German documents translated into English at this time.

I was able to enroll Megan into All Saints Catholic School in Spokane, WA in December, 2006.  She adjusted well to the new school situation.  In fact, she made the principal’s list (high honors) for the year.  Megan did just as well in 8th grade until we were discovered in November, 2007.  We lived in several places due to the kindnesses of people.  Megan was healthy, thriving, and enjoying her friendships at school.  Both of us became quite familiar with the city, the bus system, and the activities the city offered.

In the 16 months I was in the States with my daughter, hiding to protect her, but having her in school and doing well; I sought legal avenues to no avail.  In late November, 2007, we were discovered.  Tom discovered we were in Spokane, and  had a blog filled with misinformation and lies on the Internet which he copied and had given to the local hospitals.  That led to our discovery.  I was arrested for custodial interference.  (In the time I was in the U.S., the German court gave full custody to my ex-husband, Tom.) The jail held me for a 72 hour hold (which ended up being five days because of the weekend).

I had hoped that the American legal system would provide protection for Megan.  Now I will abide by any decision the American court makes and the decisions it has made.  Megan is 13 years old and will turn 14 years old on September 30.  I can have no contact with Megan until a court allows.  I will not run again with her.  Megan knew that once we were found in America (if we did not bring the case to the American legal system ourselves which is what we had hoped to do), that she would be on her own.  Megan wanted to be in America.  She wanted to be with me.  At no time was Megan ever forced to stay with me.  She knew where her father was, how to locate him, and she did not choose to do so. In fact, she would look him up on the computer white pages with me because she wanted to make sure he was still miles and miles from Spokane.

My daughter and I both had lawyers when we were discovered.  .  She actually had her own lawyer already because in the State of Washington we were informed she could have her individual lawyer.  Megan was taken to a CPS (child protective services) holding facility.  Within the five days, her father and girlfriend (who both live in Virginia) came to Spokane, and Tom went to and/or spoke with the local media claiming I was mentally ill and had abducted Megan.  Megan had prepared a statement already stating she was abused.  Tom was able to get Megan released.

Megan was taken in hand/wrist restraints via two bodyguards, Tom and girlfriend to Virginia.  The bodyguards escorted her via restraints all the way to a psych facility in VA.  She stayed in one short-term psych facility (Dominion Hospital, Virginia) from November to January; and was in the Virginia Treatment Center for Children (VTCC), a residential psych facility, until this summer.  Megan is/was speaking of the abuse (at least in the first facility, Dominion Hospital, Virginia), does not want to see her father, and is not being believed again.  Megan was in the restrictive environment of a psych facility probably until she recanted or was medicated and/or labelled cured.  If she is labelled as having shared psychotic disorder based on my German psychiatrist 1-1/2 hour interview, based on a faulty, possibly unethical diagnosis by Dr. Masino, (with Dr. Forbes’ knowledge and approval), and based upon being forced to be in a locked facility for months, it is unfair and extremely sad.  I guess her father gave her a choice of going with him or being in the residential psych facility.  She chose the psych facility.  Megan refused to see her father at all for weeks including family meetings when she was in Dominion Hospital.   Megan was given another physical in Virginia, the SANE, and it did not show that abuse occurred.  Experts will tell you that the SANE is a great tool to show abuse occurred if it is given soon after the abuse.  The SANE was given to Megan more than four years after the abuse stopped.  Obviously it does not prove the sexual abuse did not happen.  Megan is 13 years old now.  To say I am concerned about her is an understatement.  The one positive aspect is that she is now able to correspond with a few friends from her past, which she wasn’t allowed to do in the first psychiatric hospital because her father would not allow it.

I was released from jail in November 2007 after the five days without being charged and with no stipulation that I had to stay in Spokane.  Meanwhile my attorney and Megan’s filed for jurisdiction to remain in Washington State.  They also petitioned my husband for contempt of court for taking Megan out of state, but our efforts failed.  Washington refused jurisdiction.  Then in Virginia, a Child in Need of Services petition was filed and we again lost.  Tom has full custody of Megan with no interference from any child protective agency.  The courts accepted the German psych reports and opinions without question.  An unbiased complete American look at Megan’s situation has never occurred.  Tom meanwhile got a protective order in a Virginia court against me so I can have no contact with him or my daughter.  Tom said I was a danger to him.  That is the first time he has alleged that.  Tom is the one who has the black belt in Karate Tech and who the one who I fear.  I do not want contact with my ex-husband.

The American psychiatrist, Dr. Pontzer., Acting Chief of Inpatient Psychiatry at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Landstuhl Germany, has made two declarations one of which says I am/was not delusional (dated December 27, 2007).  The other explains that the German system does not equate with the American system. In Dr. Pontzer’s declaration dated January 7, 2008, he makes several points.  I will summarize and comment on a few.  The first point is that these “experts” as Tom refers to Dr. Fees and Dr. Brunger, would not be considered experts in the United States.  The idea that the American court system and the American psych facilities are accepting these evaluations by these foreign practitioners when such evaluations if performed within the United States would not be accepted due to substantial differences in training, accepted standards of care, language barriers, licensure, etc. is very hard to comprehend.  Secondly, these interviews were conducted with use of a translator.  It was very difficult, especially with my single psych interview with Dr. Fees, to convey my history and facts of the abuse when I am essentially speaking to a woman translator who is then relating my words to the German psychiatrist.  It is hard to know what is being translated and if the exact meaning is being sent.  Thirdly, there are factual errors and inconsistencies in my report from Dr. Fees.

Next, Dr. Pontzer states that PAS “Parental Alienation Syndrome” is not a recognized diagnosis by the American Psychiatric Association.  The DSM-IV-TR makes no mention of it.  It (PAS) can also be used by an abusive parent as a weapon against the protective parent.  In this case, that is exactly what has happened.  Megan has stated over and over again that she does not want to be with her father, that she is afraid of him, and that he abused her.  I have followed the professional advice of not speaking to Megan about the abuse unless she brought it up or because of legal reasons.  In Germany, we began a new life with a new apartment, etc…  During the time we spent together in the U.S., Megan and I spent much time discussing the daily activities of life especially as she was experiencing school for the first time, her teenage years, and listening to Megan speak of her future.  There was little reason to speak of her father or the abuse unless for some reason she wanted to speak of it usually due to something we saw on television or someone she saw who reminded her of her father or one of the abusers.

Dr. Pontzer speaks of the criteria for Shared Psychotic Disorder and repeats that I did not meet the criteria for a Delusional Disorder.  He also states that I apparently did experience persistent depressive symptoms concomitant with my alleged “delusions,” which contradicts the diagnostic criteria of Shared Psychotic Disorder.  He also brings up the point that American Psychiatry does not diagnose chronic schizophrenia of the paranoid type where delusions are developed.  Lastly, Dr. Pontzer explains that the reports of abuse were unsubstantiated which means they cannot be proven.  That does not mean the abuse did not happen.  It seems to me that Megan’s future and present is being based on two psych evaluations that should not be accepted for the above-mentioned reasons.

In March, I was informed by my criminal attorney that the State of Washington is pressing charges against me for first degree custodial interference.  I voluntarily turned myself in.  After 19 days in jail, I was released on my own recognizance (after the prosecutor originally wanted $250,000 bail) with stipulations that are not usual in this kind of case.  All my attorneys have provided their services pro bono until recently.  This summer, 2008, I was appointed a public defender partly due to cost of representing me due to the complexity of this case.  Since Tom has full custody of Megan and since Megan is in another state, we may not be able to succeed in getting a subpoena for her to testify at my trial.  (Now I’m also under a criminal court order not to have any contact with my daughter directly or indirectly.)

I do not know how the stress and pressure of being told her mother is mentally ill; being told that the abuse did not occur; past family meetings with her father (the abuser) in the psych facility; being separated from her mother for the first time in her life; not allowed any contact with her mother; and having been in two psych facilities; and now residing with the man she repeatedly said abused her; has impacted and is impacting my daughter.  Megan already knew that Dr. Fees and others had labelled me mentally ill and she, of course, did not believe the diagnosis because she was abused and was not being believed; and she knew me as a psychological well mother who was taking care of her, providing for her needs, and protecting her.  She more than once thanked me for that protection and she understood the risk I was taking.

Megan has had no contact with me for more than nine months.  She is not allowed to even write a letter to me.  What impact does that have on her?  Is that in the best interest of the child? The fact that Megan can no longer be with me, her mother, because the truth of the abuse cannot be proven is one problem.  The fact that Megan was not in a better, least restrictive system such as foster care and going to a regular school is completely unfair to her and a travesty of American justice.  As far as I know, Megan is no longer in the Virginia Treatment Center for Children (VTCC), the residential treatment psych facility.  She is residing with her father, the man who has abused her.

I, as Megan’s mother, will always love her dearly.  I will pray for her and hope for the day she can be reunited with me.


Below are further descriptions of the abuse I suffered, including the ritual abuse.  At the end of the abuse section are links to sites regarding ritual abuse torture.  I have also included quotes from Dr. Judith Hermann’s book on Complex PTSD called “Trauma and Recovery: The aftermath of violence – from domestic abuse to political terror.”  I have personally found that book to be a good resource for understanding domestic violence and how a person can be a captive by the abuser just as someone is a captive in a prisoner of war situation and the Holocaust.  If you are a victim of domestic violence, it may be easier for you to understand how someone can become captive.  If you are not a victim of abuse and are blessed with a functional family, school, and friend background, then the resources at the end of this section could make my situation clearer.  Many people do have abuse in their background and/or know of others who are suffering from PTSD and other ailments due to this victimization.  In any case, I do believe that knowledge is power; and that these reading materials can bring understanding to a very complex subject.

If you are reading this and have been abused in the past, it might even be more disturbing to you personally.  Please take that into account as you read the following.

In order for me to share the depth and intensity of the abuse Tom perpetrated on me, I feel obliged to give a detailed sketch of the abuse which occurred in my family of origin.  As stated earlier, there was serious doubt that Robert Cannon was my biological father.  There was intergenerational abuse passed down from my mother’s mother (my grandmother who lived with us), to my mother and to my siblings and me.  My grandmother and I shared a bedroom which is where she began abusing me sexually.  She also abused me physically in the bathroom when I took a bath – using very hot water, rough scrubbing of private areas, and more.  My mother raised us without her husband in the picture.  How the world viewed our family was utmost important.  Appearance was everything.  We appeared to be a struggling, Catholic family abiding in a “broken home”.  Divorce and/or separation was not a common occurrence in those years.  My mother began abusing me also which became worse once my grandmother had a stroke and moved to Texas to be with my aunt.  My mother then shared my bedroom.  The abuse escalated.  My mother was struggling to earn enough money to raise us.  We lived in a two-flat apartment building and my mother’s aunt (my grandmother’s sister) lived upstairs.  My mother would send me upstairs at times to be used and abused sexually by men for money.  This is one of the memories my brother Jim recalled when I spoke with him on the phone in the summer of 2003.  That began the normalcy of being abused for me.  Suffice it to say, I was eventually abused by my brother when he became old enough, then sometimes by my female siblings.  I was shoved into a cedar chest and left there with the lid closed not knowing if my brother or mother would open it in time.  There were other times of confinement in closets.  This is enough information to let you know that from an early age, I was abused.  It was in my late teens that I threatened to go to the police and was punished by my entire family ….

Along came Tom — the man at the age of 20 years old — who said he loved me.  I wanted to believe him and love him too.  Unfortunately he became involved in the abuse. My brother, Jim, who “loved” me in a perverse manner competed with Tom for control over me.  My mother eventually sided with Tom.  I think she did this because she feared the situation was getting out of control and was afraid it would become public or deadly.
The abuse with Tom began the usual way it does in domestic violence situations – hits, shoves, pushes, rough sex against your will, apologies, many many flowers, kind words, Tom saying “I love you” over and over with me eventually knowing I had to respond with “I love you too”.  Tom’s love towards me turned into more and more control of who I saw, what I did, what I ate, etc…  To give you an idea of how much he controlled my body, I could not administer medication into my own vagina for the many yeast infections I contracted.  Tom had to insert it inside of me.  The abuse became less physical because I would obey him sooner.  Tom controlled me with what he could do as well as what he did.
I had TMJ problems and learned  imagery, self hypnosis, and biofeedback techniques to lessen the tension in my jaw.  Tom made tapes of meditation that I would listen to and/or he would rub my jaw and help me relax.  He became very adept at relaxing me …  The abuse moved to more sexual, emotional, and contained elements of mind control/brainwashing.  He became very ritualistic.  At the end of the abuse he would start incorporating words and even making an upside-down cross with a line through it on my forehead.  I did not want to move to Germany the second time.  We had a new house and had returned to the Catholic Church.  I was hoping to get counseling for our marriage.  But no — we moved.  I was more isolated in Germany than ever before.  Tom began abusing me with more vehemence and with more power.Let me remind you that Tom is an extremely intelligent man.  He is also a man of many talents.  He has a background in war gaming and Dungeons & Dragons.  He had an interest in tarot cards.  He was an EMT and drove an ambulance at one time.  Tom was a medical insurance adjuster.  He was in the Intelligence section when he was in the Reserves.  Tom was a SP when he was in the Air Force for a short time before he received an article 15.  In 1985 he started working as a cost analyst for the Air Force (a civil service, GS job).  Tom knows how to work systems, how to find loopholes, how to intimidate people.  He can do this and portray himself as a very affable, normal man.  His parents met in Germany during or after WWII.  Both are from Poland and then they eventually moved to Chicago.  Tom conveyed stories to me of his father chasing the kids with a knife.  Tom’s dad was a prisoner during the war for a short time.  Tom had issues with his family, especially his parents.During the abuse over the years, Tom did introduce men and/or women into the sexual situations.  He liked humiliating me.  The words he used ranged from slut, to whore, to bitch-shit, to HTB (human toilet bowl), to PL (priest lover).  The abuse was nightly by the time we lived in Germany the second time.  My head has been shoved in the toilet, my body has been tied to the railings with cloths that did not leave marks, etc..  I went from someone Tom made love to (initially) to someone he raped to someone who was only worthy to be fucked from behind to someone who was not even worthy to touch his penis by any part of my body.Eventually he used Megan as a pawn in the abuse as well as abusing her.  Tom’s upside-down cross on my forehead with a line through it on a slant evolved into the name of god the father, god the daughter, and the power between them.   At the end it was a seven-step plan used to humiliate me and to try to get me to eventually kill myself.  I was being programmed to kill myself using any one of the many knives Tom owned in a specific manner using specific words to go with each slash.  I was forced to repeat the words to go with the seven cuts over and over and over again.

Before and during this time, Tom already knew how to control my body including when I climaxed.  He became quite adept at using the showerhead connected to a long cord (as in many European household bathrooms) on my private area.  He would use hot and/or cold water on my private area.  Eventually I would urinate, then when Tom allowed I would climax.  The most humiliating part was that Tom had trained my body to defecate when I climaxed.  I could not climax without defecating.  Tom would have me say the seven part cutting/killing words as he TORTURED me with the showerhead water pressure on my private area.  After I climaxed/defecated, Tom would make me use my feces to trace the one to seven marks on my body in a certain way.    This was not the first time he ever used feces and urine to humiliate me.  He had already numerous times used either his feces or mine … and also he urinated on me more than I can ever count.

Tom also used a tool to shock me .. he used it in my vagina and anus… usually my vagina.  I was told by one of the OSI agent  it could be a cattle prod.  Guess it would be similar to a taser?  It did not leave marks on the outside.  Nobody would ever surmise I was abused.

Now I guess you have a sense of why Tom was so sure I would NEVER TELL ANYONE of the abuse.  Tom said no one would believe me and they would think I was crazy if I did ever tell.  Also, now you might understand why I would block the abuse out of my mind in order to function.  Megan most likely learned to do the same — block it out.  She learned from watching her mother plus she was deathly afraid to disobey Tom (with good reason).   Somewhere around this time, Tom involved the Karate Tech teacher, Jorge Ordonio, and other adult students in the abuse.  There were times only one Karate Tech person was involved and times all of them were involved and when only Tom was the abuser.  At this time Tom involved Fr. Kevin Randall.  I’m not sure exactly how Kevin Randall became involved, but I do know that Tom was blackmailing him to continue in the abuse once Kevin Randall had became involved once.

Tom would videotape the abuse.  Megan reported that to the OSI also.  She gave them a picture of a closet she saw with tapes in it one of the Karate Tech people’s houses.  She wrote in her journal that, “I think it might have been Dale’s wife, Kimberly’s house.”  I had never seen the closet and Megan said I was not there at the time.  There were times Tom played tapes of the abuse either on our TV or on a laptop that someone else owned or that Tom kept elsewhere for me to watch.  He also showed me a website with me on it.  It was another way to humiliate me.  Tom talked with the Karate Tech people about how much money they were making.  Tom is fluent in Polish and German.  I’m not sure which countries the tapes were sold in by Tom and/or the others.   (Remember that during the OSI investigation, Megan and I were not speaking of the abuse to the German Youth Authority or to Herr Stefan for the supervised visitation.  It was during this time that Tom found out the OSI were investigating and offered to have his apartment searched.  Of course, there would be no evidence.  In fact, even though he did give me his house key in November 2003; he did not surrender his garage key to our house in Gries.  The garage was not connected by a door to the house and Tom did enter the garage and took some items.  As far as I know, the OSI never searched the house (our house) where the abuse actually occurred.  That in itself should have warned me that the OSI did not take the charges seriously.  Our house in Gries should have been searched thoroughly.  They might have searched Tom’s apartment that he moved in to after we separated.  Also Tom did gain access into our house in December 2004 when he removed Megan’s items and could easily have removed anything else he needed to remove to protect himself.  Whatever search, if any, the OSI performed was too little too late since the element of surprise never existed.)

As I stated earlier, Tom became more ritualistic.  He also began using the Catholic Mass as a way to perform the abuse.

(Also, as stated above, I have not spoken to Megan regarding this although she might have read or heard of part of this from other sources.  I have followed the advice of the “experts” not to speak to Megan of the abuse unless she brings it up.  Then I listened and comforted her and believed her.  I also told her it was not her fault.)

Next are some detailed recallings of the abuse.

Tom considered himself god during the abuse.  He would make Megan perform oral sex on him.  Tom would calling it worshiping him and his holy balls.  Megan would perform oral sex and be made to lick Tom clean which he called “purifying” him (like the chalice is purified during the Catholic mass).

During one occasion of abuse, Megan was placed on the dining room table and raped by her father.  I was in the room and unable to respond partially because another person from Karate Tech was there.  He had control of me by the use of pressure points, mainly the shoulder one.  Megan was 8 or 9 years old and was wearing a nightgown. The men wore the black karate uniform bottoms.

Many times, the abuse centered on a ritual based on the Catholic Mass using the Bible, consecrated and unconsecrated hosts, consecrated and unconsecrated wine, knives, sword, upside-down cross with a line through it, and more.  An altar would be set up on the table depending which room mass occurred.  It usually was in the dining room which contained a big, sturdy, dining room table.  He would sometimes put a blue or green sheet as a tablecloth on it.  He almost always placed a small white square (Irish) linen diagonally on one end of the table.  He’s put candles, one pewter candle stick holder with handle and two others (tea candles at times), on the linen.  He would use a white plate for the hosts.  The hosts were kept in the bookcase cabinet, a home-based tabernacle.  We had two gold or copper chalice-type goblets which were used or else a chalice from the church.  (Tom was in Eucharistic minister at the chapel that we attended at that time.  He had easy access to consecrated hosts, unconsecrated hosts, and chalices.  The chapel was open all day.  It was located on the base where he worked and he knew where the key was to the tabernacle in the Blessed Sacrament room.)  Tom would usually set up three knives in the shape of an upside-down cross with a line through it.  Many times one of the knives would be a sword he bought in Austria – a martial arts type sword.  At times one of the other men would bring a sword too.  There would be a bottle of wine, usually French Corbieres (red wine).  The bottle of wine and hosts were sometimes kept on the window sill where he stood at the end of the table.

Tom would wear a black shirt that made him look like a Catholic priest.  The other adults involved would wear black, usually the karate black uniform.  Megan would be made to change into a short-sleeved white blouse of mine.  It fit her as a dress.  Tom would preside over the “mass”.  Megan was next to him.  He would lead prayers similar to the Catholic mass, but with words changed.  The sign of the cross became in the name of god the father, god the daughter, and the power between them.  It formed an upside-down cross with a diagonal line through it.  Tom would have Megan or himself read the first and/or second reading from a white Bible that Megan received for her First Holy Communion.  Then Tom would usually read the gospel and he would give a homily/sermon.  The readings did not vary much.  Many times it was the reading of the wife being submissive to the husband.  Tom preached how I, the wife, was disobedient.  He’d continue with the mass – similar, yet different to the Catholic mass word-wise.  During the prayers for intentions, Tom would pray that I would obey him, that I would keep my promise (to kill myself), etc.

At Communion time, I’d be made to kneel to say “Lord, I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word and I shall be healed.”  (These words are said during the Catholic mass in Catholic churches today.)  Then Tom would make remarks regarding my unworthiness, about the uselessness of this wafer (host), of this Jesus, etc…  The abusers would munch on the consecrated and unconsecrated hosts.  All of the abusers were Catholic except for Dale who was Christian and did not understand the importance of the consecrated host.  The physical, emotional, sexual abuse/torture would sometimes be at this time; other times it was after the closing of the mass.  Many times the fake mass would be videotaped.

At some point during this “ceremony” Tom would have me lie on the big wooden, sturdy dining room table with my legs up as if in a gynecological exam.  He would have me repeat the seven step ritual regarding how I would keep my promise and kill myself.  Tom would masturbate me or have someone else do that or myself – but usually Tom until I eventually urinated, then climaxed/defecated.  This would be filmed at times.  Tom said there was a market for this type of sex.  Tom would then have me spread the feces on my body in the ritualistic way and he would use consecrated hosts to scrape off some feces and force me to ingest it.  In fact, Tom would call the feces sandwiched between two hosts “reverse oreos.”  This is more than enough detail for anyone to read.  Suffice to say… it was horrible, humiliating, torturous, degrading ….. This is an abbreviated summary of many occasions of abuse.

This level of abuse does not leave overt, physical marks on a person.

TOM TOLD ME HE WOULD KILL MEGAN AND MAKE IT LOOK LIKE I DID IT IF I DID NOT OBEY HIM.  Obeying him meant keeping my promise and killing myself in the prescribed seven step manner.  Megan told me that her father would make her repeat things after the abuse.

I am unwilling to write extensively regarding the abuse Megan suffered … her journal entries are not meant for public consumption.  I will say that she reported to Dr. Masino (as well as the OSI) that she was whipped.  Dr. Masino’s notes show he did not believe she could be whipped that badly without leaving scars.  Torturers know how to whip without leaving scars and many organizations against torture will confirm that.  According to some sources, people who are involved in sadomasochism pride themselves on being able to whip to hurt using certain types of whips, but not to draw blood, and not to leave scars.  Also, research has shown that perpetrators can pass lie detectors tests.  Maybe that is why in many courts polygraphs are not permissible.  Megan’s writings also report urine being used as a way to humiliate.

Here are a few excerpts of many entries of abuse that Megan wrote about in her journals and gave to the OSI.  This segment includes one of many incidents of human trafficking (adults perps being brought into our home for sexual purposes with Megan and myself.)  This particular entry also includes three other children brought into our home.  Megan writes, “Some people threw or pushed the girl, her mom and Diane and Mark’s boys and the bare ground and started whipping them.  When they were hurt some Diane said “Stop.”  Any more sores will make them suspicous in the morning.  Let’s brainwash them now………..we sat the people up, looked them in the eyes and said whatever I mouthed.  Jorge had the mom, Dale had the girl and Diane had the oldest boy and Mark had the younger one.  I mouthed. “You’re stupid.  You’re dumb.  You’re confused.  It’s okay.  You’re safe.  You’re just stupid right now.  That was a dream.  That was a dream.  That was a dream………………………Go back to sleep.”  They fell asleep……..My dad took my mom off the chair, laid her on the newspaper, put the chair back, kicked my mom in the stomach, and kicked me on the butt and said, “Come on.”  I stood up and followed him into the hallway.  He told me, “That in there was a dream.  Nothing happened. You didn’t get abused.  No one got abused.  It’s okay.  That was all a dream.”  He went on for a little while and then stood up said, “Clean up” and then walked upstairs and came back down in his Pajamas and walked in the dining room and around singing either swear words or a song with lots of swear words in it.  I cleaned up.”

Other short excerpts from various entries include,   “I ran away with a suitcase (the big black one) full of food and clothes…………….”  “Then he bent over my mom and said, “You better kill yourself or this will happen again but I’ll kill you.”  “My dad was whipping my mom and Kevin was whipping me.”  “I remember Dale telling me to hit my mom or my mom would die.  I had to hit her and I turned and walked towards her and hit her naked body.”  “I remember my dad telling me to go kill my mom now or I would be the one to die.”  “My mom lit the Baptism candle and my dad snatched the match as it was blown out and said, “Hey, That’s my job.” Then we did the prayers and the reading (my dad sometimes disrespectfully) and then my dad stood up and slapped me one on each cheek and then started to kiss me and He took our clothes off except for our shirts and we backed up as we had sex …….”

Megan writes, “I rolled over to avoid the whip.  Kevin said, “Why you little bitch!” Then he grabbed the non-see-through white tape and taped me to the ground.  “If only I was stronger.” I thought.  Kevin raised the whip and as he started to bring it down and I felt scared more than I ever felt before and every thing went black………….”She needs to go to bed”  my dad said…… Then he picked me up and put me in bed while I said, “I’m going to tell all my friend about that and you’ll get in trouble.”  “No, you’re not,” my dad said, “Who would believe you? Huh?”  Then he left me feeling sad.”

These quotes from Megan’s journals are only a very small part of what Megan has written and shared.  She tells of being sexually abused, emotionally abused, tortured and brainwashed.  Tom is an expert at mind control.  It gives the reader only a glimpse of what her life was like with her father.  Now she resides with him.  She told the truth of the abuse to many people and was not believed.  Tom will more than likely attempt to teach her to abuse and torture others and it might pass on to another generation …. if she survives her present and near future.

Human trafficking was a given in our situation. Tom was a human trafficker of Megan and me.  (Since I had been with Tom since the age of 20 years old, I was coerced, forced, and brainwashed to obey him or I’d be punished or my child would suffer more, or he would kill her & make it look as if I killed Megan if I did not kill myself.  The fact that he wanted me to totally submit to his will by having me kill myself shows to what extent he intended to control me.)  Total power and control is at the root of these types of abusers/torturers/manipulators and total power and control is what Tom desires.  Tom’s intent is total control and power; and for him to receive pleasure via other people’s pain.

In Karate Tech classes, children are allowed and encouraged to lead and teach classes of children older and younger than themselves.  Tom used this method in our abusive family life to give Megan a false sense of power and control (as in “god the father, god the daugher, and the power between them” and as in teaching her how to whip me, etc..).

Organized crime is defined by the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime as a structured group or three or more persons who have existed for a period of time and who act together to commit one or more serious crimes.   The group of people who abused Megan and myself held organized, planned meetings with the purpose of inflicting violent group acts which included abuse, torture, and ritual abuse-torture including pedophilic pornography.  This Tom Mulczynski-led, child pedophilia, child pornography, abuse and torture ring has not been investigated well, to say the least.

The family system we experienced was worse than any domestic violence cycle of abuse.  The above descriptions of the abuse are only a overview of what Tom is capable of doing to his victims. He is an experienced sadistic abuser — an expert in the field!  In order to continue to receive enjoyment from seeing the victim in pain on a sexual, physical, emotional, and eventually even spiritual level, Tom had to escalate the violence, power, and control he exercised over me.  Tom was wanting to gain total control over me by having me kill myself in the prescribed manner and also controlling Megan (eventually without me in the picture).  The abuse had to become worse and worse for Tom to receive pleasure sexually and emotionally.  It had to be a challenge.  I would try to lessen Megan’s abuse by getting Tom to put the focus on me.  The terror that Megan and I both felt can not be conveyed in words and the power Tom had over us was total.  I still am afraid of Tom.  (It is ironic that I have a protective order on me not to go near him or Megan.  It should be Tom that should never go near either of us.)  I fear for Megan and for myself.  He was right that people would not believe me; and that they would believe I was crazy.

This abuse, this situation, is unbelievable.  It is easier for people to believe I am crazy and passed that illness on to Megan.  People thought the holocaust did not happen either.  It was unbelievable.  Yet it occurred.  There is nothing I can do to rectify the past.  Once I faced the abuse, once I was able to tell my therapist, once I was believed, I dealt with my fears and the PTSD ………….. and I ran with Megan twice to protect her.  Yet here we are — not believed.  I am facing jail time.  Megan was institutionalized for more than six months. Now she lives with her father, the man Megan and I say repeatedly abused her. These details have never been addressed in a court of law and probably never will be.

It is important to me that the TRUTH be told.  Maybe this will have no effect on anyone or any situation.  Maybe it will be believed 20 to 30 years from now when others have the courage to come forth to tell their truth of ritual abuse torture.

Please read the notes on captivity (with my own comments) from the Judith Hermann book that I have included under “NOTES AND PERSONAL COMMENTS ON CAPTIVITY AND PTSD”.   It is important that people understand that I am not the only one this has happened to.

Also, please read parts or all of the sites which I have included under “LINKS/REFERENCES”. The information contained in this section reminds us that these situations happen to many parents and children throughout the United States as well as in other countries. They include references to abuse of all kinds, not only ones which consist of abuse that contain rituals and torture. Some of these sites and references do contain clear definitions of ritual abuse and torture.  Not all ritual abuse contain direct references to Satan.  It is not all satanic base.  There is much to be learned from various books and various sites.  Some sections have more validity than others and each reader will choose for herself/himself what is important to them.


Below are excerpts from “TRAUMA and RECOVERY:  The Aftermath of violence – from domestic abuse to political terror” by Judith Herman, M.D.  Dr. Judith Herman is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and Director of Training at the Victims of Violence Program at Cambridge Hospital.  I will note excerpts and add my personal impressions as to how the statements relate to my case.  The below sections are only from Chapter 4.  The book is filled with information useful to anyone suffering from trauma and PTSD (or their friends and family) resulting from the recent war, from abuse, and more.

Chapter 4 “Captivity” is very informative.  Judith Herman writes on page 74:  “Captivity, which brings the victim into prolonged contact with the perpetrator, creates a special type of relationship, one of coercive control.  This is equally true whether the victim is taken captive entirely by force, as in the case of prisoners and hostages, or by a combination of force, intimidation, and enticement, as in the case of religious cult members, battered women, and abused children.”

She continues on page 75 with “In situations of captivity, the perpetrator becomes the most powerful person in the life of the victim, and the psychology of the victim is shaped by the actions and beliefs of the perpetrator.  Little is known about the mind of the perpetrator.  Since he is contemptuous of those who seek to understand him, he does not volunteer to be studied.  Since he does not perceive that anything is wrong with him, he does not seek help – unless he is in trouble with the law.  His most consistent feature, in both the testimony of victims and the observations of psychologists, is his apparent normality.  Ordinary concepts of psychopathology fail to define or comprehend him.”

Also on page 75 Herman continues, “Authoritarian, secretive, sometimes grandiose, and even paranoid, the perpetrator is nevertheless exquisitely sensitive to the realities of power and to social norms.  Only rarely does he get into difficulties with the law; rather, he seeks out situations where his tyrannical behavior will be tolerated, condoned, or admired.  His demeanor provides an excellent camouflage, for few people believe that extraordinary crimes can be committed by men of such conventional appearance.”

“His ultimate goal appears to be the creation of a willing victim.”  Herman (on page 76) quotes George Orwell in “1984”:  “We are not content with negative obedience, not even with the most abject submission.  When finally you surrender to us, it must be of your own free will.  We do not destroy the heretic because he resists us; so long as he resists us we never destroy him.  We convert him, we capture his inner mind, we reshape him.  We burn all evil and illusion out of him; we bring him over to our side, not in appearance, but genuinely, heart and soul.”  Herman then writes,  “The desire for total control over another person is the common denominator of all forms of tyranny.”

MY PERSONAL COMMENTS ON THE ABOVE:  Tom appears normal to people in our society and has a very good understanding of systems, the law and how to manipulate and deceive people.  He was not satisfied with beating me or raping me or humiliating me; he wanted to own my mind and my soul.  Instead of trying to burn all evil out of me; he tried to rid me of the good inside of me.  Tom tried to get me to kill myself — the ultimate denial of soul in this case.

Page 77, Judith Herman writes, “In addition to inducing fear, the perpetrator seeks to destroy the victim’s sense of autonomy.  This is achieved by scrutiny and control of the victim’s body and bodily functions.  The perpetrator supervises what the victim eats, when she sleeps, when she goes to the toilet, what she wears.  When the victim is deprived of food, sleep, or exercise, this control results in physical debilitation.  But even when the victim’s basic physical needs are adequately met, this assault on bodily autonomy shames and demoralizes her.”

MY PERSONAL COMMENTS:  Tom knew when I slept, what I ate (because he was either with me or I had to inform him), and ultimately when I defecated/urinated at least once during the course of the day.  As I wrote previously, Tom would insert vaginal infection medication into my vagina.  Once when I tried to fight his abuse by not eating so I would not defecate during the abuse, he reacted by giving me medication to cause diarrhea … worse abuse followed.  I learned it was better to eat.

On page 78, Herman states, “The perpetrator may further debilitate the victim by offering addictive drugs or alcohol.”

MY PERSONAL COMMENTS:  Tom encouraged my drinking.  I never drank any alcohol when Tom was out of town.  There was no need to self medicate and no one was encouraging me to drink.  It was my own conscience that bothered me for years, that tried to stop myself from drinking wine at night; and Tom did nothing supportive to help me not to drink alcohol at night.  Alcohol was part of the ritual and Tom enjoyed his red (usually) French wine.

Herman writes on page 82, “In domestic battering, by contrast, the victim is taken prisoner gradually, by courtship.  An analogous situation is found in the recruitment technique of  ‘love-bombing’, practiced by some religious cults.”

On page 83, Herman states, “But the final step in the psychological control of the victim is not completed until she has been forced to violate her own moral principles and to betray her basic human attachments.  Psychologically, this is the most destructive of all coercive techniques, for the victim who has succumbed loathes herself.  It is at this point, when the victim under duress participates in the sacrifice of others, that she is truly ‘broken.’

“In domestic battery, the violation of principles often involves sexual humiliation.  Many battered women describe being coerced into sexual pressure to lie, to cover up for their mate’s dishonesty, or even to participate in illegal activities.  The violation of relationship often involve the sacrifice of children.  Men who batter their wives are also likely to abuse their children.”

MY PERSONAL COMMENTS:  I was under Tom’s control for years before Megan was even born.  Once Tom involved Megan in the abuse, Tom thought he was even more safe from me ever telling the truth.  He did not realize that I would fight to help my daughter, where I did not have any strength to fight for myself.  It took me time to find someone who would listen, who I could tell the truth of the abuse to and be believed, and who gave me a safe place to stop blocking out the abuse.  Fr. Marcantonio was that therapist.  By videotaping Megan and me, Tom also was assured in his mind that I would never talk about that to anyone because I would not risk the humiliation and shame.  I was a captive of Tom’s for years and years… his coercion, his force, his control of my body and mind was complete so much of the time.  It has taken me time and strength to be strong enough to speak openly of the horror and terror I survived.

Judith Herman speaks of Elie Wiesel (page 83 and 83) and his betray of his father in the concentration camp.  “Realistically, one might argue that it would have been fruitless for the son to come to his father’s aid, that in fact an active show of support for his father might have increased the danger to both.  But this argument offers little comfort to the victim who feels completely humiliated by his helplessness.  Even the feeling of outrage no longer preserves his dignity, for it has been bent to the will of his enemies and turned against the person he loves.  The sense of shame and defeat comes not merely from his failure to intercede but also from the realization that his captors have usurped his inner life.”

Herman speaks of two stages of being broken.  “The first is reached when the victim relinquishes her inner autonomy, world view, moral principles, or connection with others for the sake of survival.  There is a shutting down of feelings, thoughts, initiative, and judgment.  The psychiatrist Henry Krystal, who works with survivors of the Nazi Holocaust, describes this state as ‘robotization’.  Prisoners who have lived through this psychological state often describe themselves as having been reduced to a nonhuman life form.”

MY PERSONAL COMMENTS:  The fact that Megan became abused by Tom and the others; and I was helpless to stop it is a hurt I will live with for the rest of my life.  I know that the times I tried to intervene, Megan was hurt more by Tom.  It became apparent that I could do nothing but try (successfully many times) to get the abuse turned on to me.  Once I was able to share the abuse in therapy, to articulate what had occurred — then I moved quickly to protect Megan.  The separation from Tom was the initial step, then reporting it to the authorities was next.  I ended up protecting my daughter by returning to America with her.  After I became free from Tom, someone made the comment to me that I was no longer robot-like.  I survived day by day with Tom by turning off my feelings and thoughts.  I had fallen into the trap of learned helplessness.  Plus Tom’s label of me as an HTB – human toilet bowl — and his urinating on me, etc…  I didn’t feel human and I was not capable of resisting.  I was a captive.

Page 87, Herman states, “People in captivity become adept practitioners of the arts of altered consciousness.  Through the practice of dissociation, voluntary thought suppression, minimization, and sometimes outright denial, they learn to alter an unbearable reality.  Ordinary psychological language does not have a name for this complex array of mental maneuvers, at once conscious and unconscious.”

On page 90-91 Herman writes, “Some theorists have mistakenly applied the concept of  ‘learned helplessness’ to the situation of battered women and other chronically traumatized people.  Such concepts tend to portray the victim as simply defeated or apathetic, whereas in fact a much livelier and more complex inner struggle is usually taking place.  In most cases the victim has not given up.  But she has learned that every action will be watched, that most actions will be thwarted, and that she will pay dearly for failure.  To the extent that the perpetrator has succeeded in enforcing his demand for total submission, she will perceive any exercise of her own initiative as insubordination.  Before undertaking any action, she will scan the environment, expecting retaliation.

Prolonged captivity undermines or destroys the ordinary sense of a relatively safe sphere of initiative, in which there is some tolerance for trial and error.  To the chronically traumatized person, any action has potentially dire consequences.  There is no room for mistakes.”

MY PERSONAL COMMENTS:  I was definitely punished by Tom for my attempts to combat his abuse towards me and eventually towards Megan.  I have paid dearly for reporting the abuse, for protecting Megan for as long as I did ……………..  Megan is also paying the price for reporting the abuse and for speaking of the abuse in the psych facilities.  There comes a point when the price can be too large to pay and you submit ………….. sometimes to the point of giving up totally.  I hope and pray my daughter can survive.

Herman’s statements on page 94, “There are people with strong and secure belief systems who can endure the ordeals of imprisonment and emerge with their faith intact or strengthened. But these are the extraordinary few.  The majority of people experience the bitterness of being forsaken by God.”

MY PERSONAL VIEW:  My faith has sustained me this far.  People’s prayers have carried me, especially when I was or am unable to pray.  Tom tried to destroy my soul.  He debased the consecrated host and at times, consecrated wine, — the body and blood of Christ, as I, a Catholic, believe.  The abuse accounts I have shared are only a few of many.  The words that were spoken by Tom were as hurtful as the physical and sexual abuse.  The actions I was forced to take ….  Tom tried to destroy my soul.  For now, my soul is intact.  Bitterness towards God…. sometimes.  Loss of faith … no.  Struggle with faith … yes.  A diminished faith … seems to be at times.  A strengthened faith … yes.  Contradictions, fluctuations of faith …. of course.  Understanding of God … little.   Hope in God … yes … or I still would not be here and I definitely would not be writing this.  Questions for God … multitude.

Herman’s last section of this chapter, Herman quotes the Holocaust survivor Levi: “We have learnt that our personality is fragile, that it is in much more danger than our life; and the old wise ones, instead of warning us ‘remember that you must die,’ would have done much better to remind us of this greater danger that threatens us.  If from inside the Lager, a message could have seeped out to free men, it would have been this:  take care not to suffer in your own homes what is inflicted on us here.”

LAST PERSONAL COMMENTS ON HERMAN’S BOOK.  The unfortunate truth is that abuse whether you label it ritual abuse, extreme domestic violence, ritual abuse torture, or whatever label — the fact is that it does exist in people’s own homes.  Those homes can be homes of all incomes and races.  The family can have adults who are doctors, lawyers, cost analysts, martial arts experts, mechanics, teachers, etc…  People are people.  There are many, many, humans who are decent and healthy.  There are some human beings who perform terrible, unbelievable acts of violence and terror to their own family members.

I sincerely recommend “TRAUMA and RECOVERY:  The aftermath of violence – from domestic abuse to political terror”  to anyone who wants to learn more about this subject and especially to anyone who has been abused in any of these fashions.

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