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SubGenius Custody Case
February 21, 2006 4:07 PM   Subscribe

Praise "Bob", slack off, lose custody of your child. A Texas woman has lost custody of her son, not even being allowed to write to him, because she was involved in activities of the Church of the Subgenius. Although her son never attended any of the events, which involved fun, nudity, and good old-fashioned blasphemy, a New York judge, James P. Punch, allegedly a "strict catholic", has denied custody of the child Kohl out of anger after seeing videos of the church's devivals and X-days. Rev. Ivan Stang goes into more detail about the situation in alt.slack.
posted by Jimbob (100 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Aw, fudge. My version of this was a few edits from being posted. Well here it is:

His Honor also strongly disapproved of the photos of Mary Magdalen [Rachel Bevilacqua] in a bondage dress and papier maché goat’s head. The judge repeatedly asked, “Why a goat? What’s so significant about a goat’s head?” When Rachel replied, “I just thought the word ‘goat’ was funny,” Judge Punch lost his temper completely, and began to shout abuse at Rachel, calling her a “pervert,” “mentally ill,” “lying,” and a participant in “sex orgies.” The judge ordered that Rachel is to have absolutely no contact with her son, not even in writing, because he felt the pictures of X-Day performance art were evidence enough to suspect “severe mental illness”. Rachel has had no contact with Kohl since that day, February 3, 2006.

Rachael has been essential in keeping the for-profit Church of the SubGenius (wikipedia) afloat.

Here is another account of her plight, and her Myspace plea. In her Myspace entry she says she had to take down some of her pictures. Current site image searches for MAGDALEN, MAG, MAGS, MARY, and GOAT still turn up plenty of her pictures but none NSFW.

via Bartholomew's notes on religion, via Jesus' General.

On a lighter note, the Church of the SubGenius has made many of their videos available online. May I suggest the Rev. Ivan Stang and Princess Wei 's slack version of the Numa-Numa song. If only more cults had leaders like these.
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 4:17 PM on February 21, 2006


Ah your post was much better MonkeySaltedNuts. Nuts.
posted by Jimbob at 4:18 PM on February 21, 2006


Holy crap. Is she a danger to her child because of the religion she chooses to practice?

This judge has gone to far, and is yet another example of how we give far too much power to the judiciary in America.
posted by geekhorde at 4:22 PM on February 21, 2006


Sorry. 'Too far', rather.
posted by geekhorde at 4:24 PM on February 21, 2006


That goat head pic is pretty damn hot. I mean extreemly hot. And I wouldn't really call it a bondage or S&M dress. Mostly just not a dress at all :P
posted by delmoi at 4:25 PM on February 21, 2006


I am pretty positive, at least I really hope, that the standard judicial mechanisms will take care of this and overturn this judge's idiotic ruling. This is so egregious that I can't imagine this standing.
posted by Falconetti at 4:26 PM on February 21, 2006


That said, that is totaly insane. Something I'd expect in Alabama, not New York.

And what's going on with the ex-husband?
posted by delmoi at 4:31 PM on February 21, 2006


ALCU, where are you?
posted by handshake at 4:32 PM on February 21, 2006


Hmm.

The history of the case is interesting. The mother left the original father, and move to Texas, taking the kid with her, the original father also forgot to show up for court.

I can see why he'd be upset enough to do something like this.

After she comes to visit him, in NY, the cops show up and take the kid, since they couldn't do anything while she stayed in Texas. Pretty sleazy.
posted by delmoi at 4:38 PM on February 21, 2006


Can you apeal custody decisions?
posted by delmoi at 4:42 PM on February 21, 2006


Shit. She should lose the kids for sheer nerditude.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:42 PM on February 21, 2006


:delmoi: That ... pic ... extreemly hot. And I wouldn't really call it a bondage or S&M dress. Mostly just not a dress at all.

If you look closely at the other pic you can see seams in the body suit she is wearing under her "dress".
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 4:44 PM on February 21, 2006


>ALCU, where are you?

Is that the only organization in the US that cares about civil rights? They're a limited organization and often criticized for not going after this case or that case. Is the US just a nation of madmen with just one group which -might- get a courthouse victory that'll bring it back to sanity for a few more days? If so, that's quite the weight on the ACLU's shoulders.

Where are the pro-family groups? The Christian freedom of religion groups? They should be just as outraged. A woman loses custody of her child over her religion. I'm sure they'll chime in eventually, but its funny how the first reaction is "call the ACLU" and not the Family Council or somesuch.
posted by skallas at 4:44 PM on February 21, 2006


See, this is why Bush is so against activist judges
posted by Mick at 4:47 PM on February 21, 2006


I don't suppose anyone has a link to a credible news source, eh?
posted by mischief at 4:49 PM on February 21, 2006


I don't suppose anyone has a link to a credible news source, eh?

When was the last time child custody cases in a county court made the front page of the Washington Post, mischief? Don't bother to answer that.
posted by Jimbob at 4:51 PM on February 21, 2006


When was the last time child custody cases in a county court made the front page of the Washington Post, mischief? Don't bother to answer that.
posted by Jimbob at 7:51 PM EST on February 21 [!]


Perhaps so, but I'd be more impressed with her case if I heard it from someone other than her and her friends. The fact that this is in someplace like NY that is known for tolerence makes me wonder if there's something about this case that we're not being told by this woman. The shouting abuse thing sounds especially funny. When judges are pissed they can certainly lay the smackdown on you, but they usually don't need to shout. I've never heard of a child custody case where the loser didn't claim that the judge was biased/crazy/unfair.
posted by unreason at 4:59 PM on February 21, 2006


iss on tha intarnets so id mus b tru
posted by mischief at 4:59 PM on February 21, 2006


I don't suppose anyone has a link to a credible news source, eh?

My feelings exactly. These links are all from personal friends and supporters of one parent, the mother -- hardly the most objective source of information in any child custody case.

As I read through the account, I was left wondering -- why was there no custody arrangement hammered out before the mother left New York? Don't American courts generally formalize such arrangements when parents seperate? If they had, then there wouldn't have been a problem with the mother leaving the state as she would have had the court's permission.

As it is, this has nothing to do with the mother's affiliation with the Church of Subgenius, and everything to do with the fact that she tried to pull a fast one, but her ex-husband was sharper still and used his rights under the law to nail her ass.

At which point, the Rev. Stang obviously thought 'Who does this judge think he is, fucking with my pals? Doesn't he know who I am? I'm I'm a certified net ghod an I'm gonna set the intarweb on his ass! That'll larn him.'

Meanwhile, I note that they try and blacken the ex-partner's name as being a workshy scrounger, while simultaneously panhandling for money for a lawyer.

Well, Stang has made a fat wedge in the past by relying on the gullibility of the geek -- why the hell shouldn't he take another stab at it to help out his pals?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:03 PM on February 21, 2006


iss in a newspapa so id mus b tru
posted by Jimbob at 5:04 PM on February 21, 2006


When was the last time child custody cases in a county court made the front page of the Washington Post, mischief?

Oh, I dunno. How about today?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:07 PM on February 21, 2006


umm, where?
posted by mischief at 5:08 PM on February 21, 2006


"because of her religion . . ."

Um, is it really her religion? Seems to me that we're stretching the definition of "one's religion" mighty thin if we say that this is her religion. Her hobby, maybe? Her club? Her leisure activity? But certainly not actually her religion, right?
posted by JekPorkins at 5:09 PM on February 21, 2006


Perhaps so, but I'd be more impressed with her case if I heard it from someone other than her and her friends. The fact that this is in someplace like NY that is known for tolerence makes me wonder if there's something about this case that we're not being told by this woman.

Well, don't hold your breath, moron. It's not NYC, it's a rural county in New York state. They have those there, you know.
posted by delmoi at 5:11 PM on February 21, 2006


I know of a dying kid who collects christmas cards.
posted by mischief at 5:13 PM on February 21, 2006


From their website:
Nestled on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, Orleans County enjoys the peaceful rural life with the advantages of urban centers Photo of the Orleans County Clerks' Building nearby. Known for
And this "news" item:
Do you have a flag that is unusable? Did you know that there is a drop off box on the east side of the Veterans Administration Building on Route 31, where you can deposit flags that you will no longer use? The flags will then be disposed of in the proper manner.
posted by delmoi at 5:16 PM on February 21, 2006


Oh, I dunno. How about today?

Wow, you mean people discuss "child custody" in the abstract every once in a while? Oh and one case in a local paper where the father was returning from Iraq: a hot news topic.
posted by delmoi at 5:18 PM on February 21, 2006


Well, don't hold your breath, moron.

Glad to see that you're keeping a polite conversational tone.

It's not NYC, it's a rural county in New York state.

I know, actually. But NY state in general is not known for having a lot of conservative activist judges. And the fact remains that we have no independent confirmation that what we are being told about the case is true. Furthermore, much of this story does not sound typical of what goes on in a courtroom. The fact that this woman is involved with a group that you personally like does not men the she is necessarily telling the truth.
posted by unreason at 5:19 PM on February 21, 2006


Still, this might make some papers given her prominance in something most people have at least heard of, but otherwise you wouldn't be hearing about it in a local paper.
posted by delmoi at 5:20 PM on February 21, 2006


Do you have a flag that is unusable? Did you know that there is a drop off box on the east side of the Veterans Administration Building on Route 31, where you can deposit flags that you will no longer use?

So...the fact that flags are disposed of in a respectful manner there means that they're all ultra-conservative? Way to stereotype. Believe it or not, not everyone outside of the big cities is a conservative inbred yokel.
posted by unreason at 5:21 PM on February 21, 2006


Um, is it really her religion? Seems to me that we're stretching the definition of "one's religion" mighty thin if we say that this is her religion. Her hobby, maybe? Her club? Her leisure activity? But certainly not actually her religion, right?

Seems just as sensible as any other religion. That is, of course, not at all.
posted by odinsdream at 5:21 PM on February 21, 2006


In any case, the religion in play here seems to be more likely that of the Judge, whose irrational decision seems to be based at least in part on his own discomfort with what he saw as perverted/blasphemous/what-have-you.
posted by odinsdream at 5:23 PM on February 21, 2006


Glad to see that you're keeping a polite conversational tone.

I'm sorry, you're right. It's totally absurd to get upset about a judge to shout at a woman in court, call her a pervert and mentally ill, based on the fact that she was seen with a paper mache goats head. And then order that she must have no contact with her children, even in writing. I apologize.

Furthermore, much of this story does not sound typical of what goes on in a courtroom.

Well, I've certainly heard of cases like this in the past.
posted by delmoi at 5:25 PM on February 21, 2006


So...the fact that flags are disposed of in a respectful manner there means that they're all ultra-conservative? Way to stereotype. Believe it or not, not everyone outside of the big cities is a conservative inbred yokel.

The fact that they do it? No. The fact that it's the number 2 "news item" on their website? Yes.
posted by delmoi at 5:26 PM on February 21, 2006


Wow, you mean people discuss "child custody" in the abstract every once in a while?

No, I mean whenever there's a case that somehow conflicts with existing case law or is an egregious breach of justice.

Given that family court proceedings involving children are always closed to the public and the media, that's the most you'll ever get because the courts have to put the interest of the child first.

There's a hint that his mother and her friends might profitably take there somewhere as well -- if they ever hope to get access, let alone custody in the future, that is. I'm guessing that even the most liberal judges aren't going to look on benignly as a parent drags their kid through some sort of internet campaign circus.

But hey, you can't deny the SLACK.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:28 PM on February 21, 2006


I'm sorry, you're right. It's totally absurd to get upset about a judge to shout at a woman in court, call her a pervert and mentally ill, based on the fact that she was seen with a paper mache goats head.

No, it's absurd to think that that is what happened just because the defendant and her friends tell you so. Your logic, as far as I can see, seems to go like this. Magdalen makes fun of religion. I like people who make fun of religion. Therefore, she must be telling the truth. We haven't hurt one single shred of evidence that this judge shouted at her in court, or that the subgenius had anything to do with him taking away her custody rights, other than the fact that she says so. That is what is absurd.
posted by unreason at 5:29 PM on February 21, 2006


No, I mean whenever there's a case that somehow conflicts with existing case law or is an egregious breach of justice.

Given that family court proceedings involving children are always closed to the public and the media, that's the most you'll ever get because the courts have to put the interest of the child first.


So in other words, you were wrong when you wrote:

Oh, I dunno. How about today?

In response to:

When was the last time child custody cases in a county court made the front page of the Washington Post, mischief?

I see.
posted by delmoi at 5:31 PM on February 21, 2006


No, I mean whenever there's a case that somehow conflicts with existing case law or is an egregious breach of justice.

Also, posting a google news search for "child custody" does not illustrate that at all.
posted by delmoi at 5:33 PM on February 21, 2006


In any case, the religion in play here seems to be more likely that of the Judge, whose irrational decision seems to be based at least in part on his own discomfort with what he saw as perverted/blasphemous/what-have-you.

That would be one interpretation -- and clearly the one that the mother favours.

However, if you read her website a little more closely, a more reasonable interpretaton based on her own admissions are that both parents had an agreement that had been the subject of a court order in New York. It appears that the mother then sought to unilaterally modify that order by some kind of action in Texas before she'd first sought leave from the court that had jurisdiction.

By doing so, it appears that she breached the terms of the original order and deprived the father of his access. Then, as soon as she wandered back into the state that did have jurisdiction, the father sought to enforce his access/custody rights, which the courts quite reasonably allowed. The fact that she'd unilaterally withdrawn access once puts her in a similar position to a bail jumper -- you lose the benefit of the doubt with the court.

I'm pretty sure that if the mother had gone about things in the right way to begin with, father wouldnt have stood a chance.

The subgenius stuff is an irrelevant sideshow.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:44 PM on February 21, 2006


Therefore, she must be telling the truth.

Surely, reporting and spreading rumours that a judge did / said something that he didn't actually say in a court of law has got to be an offense? I doubt they'd be pushing ahead with raising money for her to challenge the decision if her public comments on the issue are dishonest.
posted by Jimbob at 5:47 PM on February 21, 2006


The subgenius stuff is an irrelevant sideshow

Which is why the judge questioned her on the goat's mask and watched videos of X-day celebrations. Uh-huh.
posted by Jimbob at 5:49 PM on February 21, 2006


Do they take kids away from strippers?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:50 PM on February 21, 2006


So in other words, you were wrong when you wrote:
Oh, I dunno. How about today?


I wasn't 'wrong' because I wasn't pretending for a moment that any of those posts were county court family cases on the front page of the Washington Post.

Also, posting a google news search for "child custody" does not illustrate that at all

If you were aware of the general news coverage of these issues, then I wouldn't need to illustrate it for you.

If you aren't, then an examination of the range of coverage of those issues via today's Google news stories is a pretty good place to start.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:51 PM on February 21, 2006


If you were aware of the general news coverage of these issues, then I wouldn't need to illustrate it for you.

Unless you're wrong, which your inability to illustrate would tend to suggest.
posted by delmoi at 5:52 PM on February 21, 2006


I doubt they'd be pushing ahead with raising money for her to challenge the decision if her public comments on the issue are dishonest.

Yes, surely no one would ever raise money under false pretenses.
posted by JekPorkins at 5:53 PM on February 21, 2006


"Do they take kids away from strippers?"

Yes. Don't even get me started on the treatment of sex industry workers in custody cases. I'm trying to rant less.
posted by kyrademon at 5:56 PM on February 21, 2006


Yes, surely no one would ever raise money under false pretenses.

The point being (a) they money would completely go to waste if what she's been saying about the judgement is a lie (b) it doesn't benefit the Church of the Subgenius to pull bullshit like that. It's not what they do, and the survival of the likes of Ivan Stang depends on not ripping people off (besides the inital $30 with the "triple your money back").
posted by Jimbob at 5:58 PM on February 21, 2006


Which is why the judge questioned her on the goat's mask and watched videos of X-day celebrations. Uh-huh.

Presumably the judge did this because the father is making the argument that as well as depriving him of lawful acccess, she's also an unfit mother -- and is using that stuff in support of his arguments.

The judge would be legally obliged to watch it and question her about it because of the child protection issues that the husband's allegations raise. However, in the circumstances, even if she'd never done anything more risque than a quick foxtrot, the child would still be going home with his father until the court has reassured itself that she's not going to piss off back to Texas or elsewhere.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:00 PM on February 21, 2006


Surely, reporting and spreading rumours that a judge did / said something that he didn't actually say in a court of law has got to be an offense?

I don't think that it's one that they're going to really pursue, particularly since it's just on the Internet.

I probably sound like I'm calling this woman a liar, and I honestly don't mean to. I wasn't in that courtroom. I have no way of knowing that the judge didn't do all the awful stuff she says. My point is just that none of us knows, and it's too soon to take her at her word. Furthermore, although we have no conclusive proof as to what's going on, we do know that she has made some astonishing claims, some of which sound very odd. There are some things that simply don't add up. For example, she says that she was treated badly due to the judge when he found out about the anti-Christian nature of the SubGenius. She says that he saw the stuff that made him mad on February 3, 2006. But she claims that he was unfair to her with regards to his ruling on December 23, meaning that he would have had to have been biased against her affiliations before he even knew about them! They say that they need money, and that the ACLU is too slow, but the ACLU can move pretty fast for a trend setting case like this. Why isn't the ACLU supporting her, or even issuing a statement? I've seen divorce and custody stuff before, and I've yet to see any case where the loser didn't say that the judge was unfair. There's a lot of stuff here that just doesn't add up.
posted by unreason at 6:02 PM on February 21, 2006


Unless you're wrong, which your inability to illustrate would tend to suggest.

As opposed to being dim, which your obtuseness would similarly suggest?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:03 PM on February 21, 2006


I wasn't 'wrong' because I wasn't pretending for a moment that any of those posts were county court family cases on the front page of the Washington Po

Well, maybe you didn't mean to, but reread what you wrote. You clearly state "how about today" in response to someone asking when would you see local child custody cases in the local paper, clearly implying that you could see newspaper articles about local child custody decisions today.

The original rhetorical question was a response to someone pointing out that the story wasn't in any papers, and therefore maybe it didn't happen.

In summary, snark removed the discussion is as follows:
Mischief: I don't believe this because I don't see it any legitimate news outlets

Jimbob: local child custody cases are not often featured in the Washington post, or other news outlets of similar caliber. When was the last time you saw one?

You: "Oh, I dunno. How abouttoday?"
(it appears that you meant "there were some today" I don't see how anyone would interpret it differently based on the discussion up to this point)


Me: those are not articles about any current cases, except one about an Iraq veteran, a hot news topic.

You: yes, because child custody cases don't show up in the news, bla bla bla.
In other words, you agree with Jimbob. Here's how the rest of the discussion seems to flow, from my perspective.
You: I'm not wrong, I'm not contradictory, you don't understand these issues, and I do.

Me: You're an idiot.

Me: here is a summary, illustrating your idiocy.
posted by delmoi at 6:06 PM on February 21, 2006


Ah, looks like you got another "you're an idiot" comment in between my "you're an idiot" and my "here is a summary..."
posted by delmoi at 6:07 PM on February 21, 2006


As opposed to being dim, which your obtuseness would similarly suggest?

I'm not being obtuse, you're not making any sense at all. Explain how your "how about today" comment does not conflict with your "individual child custody cases don't apear in the paper" comment
posted by delmoi at 6:11 PM on February 21, 2006


There are some things that simply don't add up. For example, she says that she was treated badly due to the judge when he found out about the anti-Christian nature of the SubGenius. She says that he saw the stuff that made him mad on February 3, 2006. But she claims that he was unfair to her with regards to his ruling on December 23, meaning that he would have had to have been biased against her affiliations before he even knew about them!

I suppose. The judge may have been biased against her, and maybe with good reason, but it would seem that he became much more biased beyond the point of reasonableness at this point in time, if her story is true.

In other words: his attitude before feb 3rd,

"I don't think this woman is being fair about sharing the custody of the kid"

after feb 3rd"

"OMG SHE'S A WITCH, BURN HER!"
posted by delmoi at 6:15 PM on February 21, 2006


Delmoi exclaimed That goat head pic is pretty damn hot.

And even more fun is the gentle scolar on her left is SF's own Rev. 'Howlin' Hal Robbins, original illustrator of the Church of the Subgenius. Come down and ask him about anything at 12 Galaxies starting in March. For a small fee of course, I mean he IS a subgenius.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 6:18 PM on February 21, 2006


The judge may have been biased against her, and maybe with good reason

Yes, exactly. My point is that the fact that her explanation for why he is biased against her does not cover this incident. That would imply that she is not being entirely truthful. If that's the case, it is not unreasonable to suspect that the judge did not act in the manner that she describes. And I'm still suspicious of the fact that the ACLU's not helping out. This is the sort of thing they do, and there hasn't been a peep out of them. Not only haven't they given any money, they haven't even made a public statement on her behalf. That's odd. Don't misunderstand me. If she's telling the truth, then I'm definitely on her side, and I would hope that she'd get her kid back on appeal. But the more I think about this, the odder it sounds.
posted by unreason at 6:22 PM on February 21, 2006


Somehow I think that when a judge hurls personal abuse at you from the bench you've got pretty good grounds for an appeal.
posted by clevershark at 6:39 PM on February 21, 2006


Yes, exactly. My point is that the fact that her explanation for why he is biased against her does not cover this incident. That would imply that she is not being entirely truthful.

Hmm, I see...

/strokes gotee.
posted by delmoi at 6:40 PM on February 21, 2006


Seems to me that we're stretching the definition of "one's religion" mighty thin if we say that this is her religion.

The Church of the SubGenius is absolutely as valid as Christianity or Islam or whatever Religion you name.

srsly.
posted by exlotuseater at 6:43 PM on February 21, 2006


... thus my skepticism.
posted by mischief at 6:49 PM on February 21, 2006


The Church of the SubGenius is absolutely as valid as Christianity or Islam or whatever Religion you name.

Sorry, it's only a valid religion if your god impregnates virgins and advocates eating your god's flesh and drinking your god's blood so you may yourself achieve immortality.

True religions advocate cannibalism. This is merely another pretender.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:51 PM on February 21, 2006


Seems to me that we're stretching the definition of "one's religion" mighty thin if we say that this is [his] religion
said Pontius Pilate and the Pharisees to Jesus.
posted by bardic at 6:57 PM on February 21, 2006


Seeing the courts so willing to come down so hard on a parent of some questionable faith (and this is coming from a guy with Discordian tatoos) while a friend of mine is forced to pay child support for a child he was not told about until the kid was thirteen, his money going to support the mom's growing love of meth while the child fled to live with his grandparents, with little chance to plead her as being unfit really grinds my gears.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:06 PM on February 21, 2006


Actually unreason custody disputes are not something the ACLU gets involved in very often, if ever. I suppose her local chapter might get involved if budget can be procured and if the case is clearly a case of church/state. Custody disputes are very messy and do not lend themselves to the mission of the ACLU. I'd be very careful about reading any validity or non-validity to these claims based on whether or not the ACLU gets involved.
posted by filchyboy at 7:11 PM on February 21, 2006


Actually unreason custody disputes are not something the ACLU gets involved in very often

Not normally, but they certainly would if there were the church/state issues that are claimed. And while they might not want to actually financially support her case, you'd think that they'd at least send some kind of public letter stating their concerns. The fact that they haven't makes me suspect that there's more to the case than we're being told, particularly combined with the other stuff I talked about above.
posted by unreason at 7:14 PM on February 21, 2006


Robocop if yur friend can show she is not supporting the kid then support can be transferred to the grandparents. Which although still maddening would at least mean he wasn't supporting her drug habit. (Course if this were to happpen she'd immediately take the kid back to get the money reinstated.)

Your buddy should sue for custody.
posted by filchyboy at 7:15 PM on February 21, 2006


"if yur friend can show ..."

... and hack up one helluva cash hairball for the retainer.
posted by mischief at 7:19 PM on February 21, 2006


Yeah, the retainer's the rub. I think he's only recently climbed out of the debt hole the last retainer cost him for his last court date (which took place on Sept 11th, 2001, but went on despite the, uh, other 'stuff' that happened that morning).
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:31 PM on February 21, 2006


Well, he should only have a few more years, if she was 13 in 2001, he's only got 2 more years to pay. Not enough to worry about, IMO.

OTOH, If she's 15, I mean, what is the mother going to do if she shows up in court, and basically says that she's not living with the mother and doesn't want too. At that point, not having a lawyer won't be that big of a deal.

Does he have much of an opportunity to talk with her?
posted by delmoi at 7:49 PM on February 21, 2006


And, if the girl wanted to live with your friend, the mother would have to pay child support.
posted by delmoi at 7:50 PM on February 21, 2006


I had no idea that I was responsible for such a racy faith.

In any event, please commence the rioting ... now!
posted by subgenius at 7:57 PM on February 21, 2006


As a Discordian Pope I am outraged at this discrimination against a religion of a similar faith.

Don't those judges know anything about the way the Sacred Chao works? The more "rational" order they try and impose, the more pressure there will be in the cooker and the more chaos that will seep out.
All they are doing is making the inevitable happen sooner.

Does anybody know if we are almost out of paper yet, so that the Age of Buearacracy can be over?
posted by archae at 8:38 PM on February 21, 2006


20 comments out of 71 for delmoi. I think that qualifies as "dominating the conversation" ;)

For what it's worth, I'm on your side, but you might try a less... clubbing-someone-over-the-head method of argument...

/leaves quietly
posted by The God Complex at 8:49 PM on February 21, 2006


I agree it's not very slack.
posted by delmoi at 9:14 PM on February 21, 2006


subgenius wrote: I had no idea that I was responsible for such a racy faith

Wow. I thought everyone in these parts knew about the whole subgenius/slack/R.A.Wilson thing. Especially someone named 'subgenius'.

The Church of the SubGenius has been a wonderfully warm and fuzzy [albeit minor] presence in my life for nearly 20 years. My donation goes into the mail tomorrow.

The most recent weekly Hour Of Slack radio show (mp3 stream, 128kbps, 60 minutes) is always available online via WREK.
posted by intermod at 9:17 PM on February 21, 2006


Very stupid, slightly sad, quintessentially American. Praise Bob.

Also: I propose that all thread deletions henceforward be attributed not to mathowie or jessamyn, but to The Stark Fist of Removal.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:52 PM on February 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


I don't think removals are actualy credited.
posted by delmoi at 9:59 PM on February 21, 2006


Fnord this thread.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:02 PM on February 21, 2006


I guess some people really care about goat heads. From the neighboring MiFi story on Jack Hamm:


posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 10:08 PM on February 21, 2006


I don't think removals are actualy credited.

I think you missed the bacon-wrapped slackness of my point. Let us speak no more of this.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:21 PM on February 21, 2006


If you look closely at the other pic you can see seams in the body suit she is wearing under her "dress".
Glad to see I wasn't the only one um, "examining the evidence minutely" ;-)
posted by dg at 1:15 AM on February 22, 2006


You figure if they gave out Doctorates of The Internet, we'd all get called to testify about the Church of the Subgenius as expert witnesses? (Not that it was originally an internet phenomenon, of course, but it's almost become one.)

She seems kind of nutty. You probably shouldn't flee states where custody-related court orders are in place. But the judge probably shouldn't freak out about goat heads -- if he did.

I hope it gets resolved, but I don't think this is a horrible breach of rights or anything. I'm sure it will be alright now that it's getting a bit of publicity.
posted by blacklite at 2:52 AM on February 22, 2006


(W)hile they [the ACLU] might not want to actually financially support her case, you'd think that they'd at least send some kind of public letter stating their concerns. The fact that they haven't makes me suspect that there's more to the case than we're being told, particularly combined with the other stuff I talked about above.

It could also just be that they haven't heard about it yet, which is quite possible, especially if the mother hasn't contacted the organization. Full disclosure: I happen to work at the ACLU (albeit in a department that wouldn't deal with this particular case). We're not omnipotent, ya know. This was the first *I'd* heard about this, anyway.

I'm going to send this information on to our New York affiliate today to make sure they're aware of it. That doesn't guarantee that they'll jump in; it might indeed end up being a case they can't get involved in for other reasons, but you really shouldn't infer anything about any cases's merits just because the ACLU isn't involved. Sometimes a particular case doesn't fit our mission as well as folks might think at first glance, sometimes the plaintiffs don't want us to get involved for whatever reason, sometimes we're not able to find contact information for the plaintiff, sometimes they've got quite capable legal representation of their own and don't need our help, and sometimes we just don't have the resources at the time to take a particular case on.

One note: please, please don't start sending me a jillion legal requests now that I've revealed where I work. When in doubt, you should always contact the local ACLU affiliate; that's where our first contacts are always handled. And it helps if you can provide contact information for whoever is directly affected in a particular situation and keep in mind that we don't always contact people when we don't know whether it would be welcome.
posted by apollonia6 at 4:51 AM on February 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


Delmoi:- 21 posts
Rest of the world :- 62

Another thread hijacked by a self appointed oracle.

Start your own fucking blog!

THAN not THEN
posted by Merlin at 5:18 AM on February 22, 2006


The gullible tend to be most shrill.
posted by mischief at 6:34 AM on February 22, 2006


One would think that one of the many advocates of weblogs as citizen journalists would be willing to make phone calls to verify some facts of this case. *hint*.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:43 AM on February 22, 2006


Wikinews article
posted by jeffburdges at 7:44 AM on February 22, 2006


Whatever else is going on I don't understand why NY judges are concerned about someone going to Texas. Have they declared independence from the US again?
posted by ibanda at 7:47 AM on February 22, 2006


Aha, further reading reveals that the ACLU's already been contacted and is looking into it. So there ya go.
posted by apollonia6 at 8:03 AM on February 22, 2006


jeffburdges: Which seems to have no sources other than from the Church of the Subgenius and Metafilter.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:05 AM on February 22, 2006


Not that I find the reports hard to believe. I just consider it a good idea to promote the habit of not trusting single-source articles.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 8:27 AM on February 22, 2006


What is your source for that, apollonia6? Hopefully not that wikinews link.
posted by mischief at 8:48 AM on February 22, 2006


WWJHVH1D?
posted by mds35 at 9:42 AM on February 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


I knew the Church of the Subgenius was a bunch a pompous assholes, but these guys have ACTIVITIES? How much can you beat one bad joke to death?
posted by Yakuman at 10:31 AM on February 22, 2006


I heard my name?
posted by fnord at 11:21 AM on February 22, 2006


I knew the Church of the Subgenius was a bunch a pompous assholes, but these guys have ACTIVITIES? How much can you beat one bad joke to death? posted by Yakuman

And you know they are pompous assholes, exactly...how? Cause, I've known Stang (and a fair number of other members) for about 20 years now, and they have never been anything but fantastic people. Every subgeni I've ever met has been non-conformist, but never pompous. Some of them are astoundingly brilliant, some of them are gently vague...just like regular people...imagine that. Some of them wear Bob like a neon sign, some are folks you'd never suspect.

I'm not a subgeni, because I have my own cult, thank you very much, (all praises to the feathered one, quack), but as a rule, I've enjoyed being around people who get the concept of Pink and the evils therein.

Also, Bob totally rocks as a parking god. Seriously, pray to Bob when you're looking for parking, and if you slack is pure, you'll always find a good spot. It's true. Praise Bob and his powers against the asphalt conspiracy.

I would suggest that if you think the subgeni are pompous assholes, that perhaps you're missing the point.
posted by dejah420 at 12:44 PM on February 22, 2006 [1 favorite]


The point remains valid unreason. And now you have someone involved with the ACLU making the same declaration.
posted by filchyboy at 1:36 PM on February 22, 2006


“Every subgeni I've ever met has been non-conformist, but never pompous.”

Until now. Hi there!
posted by Smedleyman at 1:57 PM on February 22, 2006


When I was still working for a lawyer in Boston, I got to watch some really, REALLY nasty custody cases close up. Judges like this not only exist, but are more common that you might think. Therefore, the story doesn't surprise me at all. It's all about who's got the money to fight.

In many ways -- and again, this is just from my own observations of the cases I worked on -- judges seem to be swinging back towards punishing women who are anything other than meek little housewives. Stand up for yourself in court? Get yelled at by the judge. Pass out in court when your (abusive, alcoholic, but money-having) husband gets custody of the kids? Judge'll step over you and not even ask the court officers to call an ambulance (I actually watched this happen).

Hell, I'll go out on an limb and say I'd be surprised if it wasn't true.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:00 PM on February 23, 2006


Update:
The reason for Magdalen's absence (and the lack of the transcripts) became clear as of Thursday, March 9. On that day, I learned that the judge had ordered Magdalen to cease all communication on the Internet regarding her son. This was not a written statement - the judge had verbally ordered her to remain offline, and no written order was available. Magdalen stated that even though the order was verbal, the court considered it to be an official order from the judge, and so she has had to remain offline since then.

However, as of March 15th, Magdalen had obtained legal reputation from none other than the law firm of Lipsitz Green Fahringer Roll Salisbury and Cambria, LLP. (This firm includes Larry Flynt and Marilyn Manson among their clients.) Magdalen's legal team is challenging this order. When the order is overturned and she is online again, she will have quite a story to tell.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 8:56 AM on March 17, 2006


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