The following message was published today on the Divorce Coro website, BASE CAMP:
To all victims of court corruption:
Periodically I’ve been checking commentary on this Base Camp since Dr. Joe Sorge created it after the great reform conference he hosted in Washington DC in November 2014. I could not risk disbarment by sponsoring a workshop there due to a suspension (gag) order, and Joe opened the three day event with public disclosure of the witch hunt against me and another New York attorney.
On the last day I threw caution to wind and gave a complimentary rendition of the conference which drew a standing ovation. I’m still fighting this record 9 year suspension because I refuse to surrender my rights and
whistleblower activity. Plus, they seized my children without any unfit parenting or CPS report of any kind which made it personal.
Only yesterday I had to reply to another anonymous lawyer complaint made through a third party regarding statements I made at a town board meeting. I was seeking to open public access to a state owned lake in my home county, and it upset an elite group of property owners engaged in a lawsuit to protect their shoreline sanctuary. The complaint was made to intimidate a whistleblower of corruption even in a non-legal setting.
Imagine that? How bad does it get with these lawyers bent on protecting their gold mine? They will suppress public opinion and accountability to such extremes that their own clients will now suffer escalating conflict and court costs, all for lawyer profit. Family courts do the same to parents who struggle to make sense of child alienation and debtor prisons. Such calculated attacks also lead to censorship of the good people here.
But as much as I support you as a reform group, trust when I say there’s some really crazy stuff being discussed on this site. Maybe it’s good therapy but you could do yourselves a favor by helping me organize a rally on the Supreme Court steps this spring. Victims can present their cases in summary fashion to be recorded and spread virally with or without mainstream media coverage. Imagine your judge or lawyer being exposed nationally in this manner!
We can present for as long as it takes, like an “occupy court” mission, so that our nation’s high court can finally direct administrative and substantive accountability and reform. Without a unified national event, these lawyers and judges you all complain about see no problem with business as usual, and it’s only getting worse. I’m a man of action, not words, as my ten year ordeal proves (to the point of life threatening sacrifice not unlike Nancy Schaefer).
This month I completed an expensive business plan for the Parenting Rights Institute to secure major funding for an initiative to reverse the escalating process of criminalizing fathers in our nation’s family courts. It is based on my thirty years of litigation experience, countless case studies across America and ten years of courageous reform efforts in a conscientious stand taken against my profession. Below is the powerful opening statement behind this latest initiative. Please do your part by promoting it, sharing it and supporting us financially.
Over the past half century, western society has seen an alarming transformation in fatherhood, from its traditional respected status to an incompetent, violent, absentee reputation. We have seen this trend in politics, entertainment, school districts, child rearing and social institutions. The act of denigrating a male parent or blaming him for a myriad of problems has become fashionable, even encouraged without so much as a critical footnote from mainstream media.
The infection of social thought with dad stigmatization might not be rectified any time soon, but when reverse sexism obtains legal protection, it is the duty of a self-governing people to respond. That duty begins in our family courts because this is where protected discrimination is most blatant and harmful to all society. A Supreme Court Justice once described these tribunals as “kangaroo” courts, but conditions since the time of that opinion have only seriously worsened.
This prospectus will show how that occurred, why corrective action is urgent, and it comes from a parental advocate who successfully litigated complex cases in federal and state courts for over thirty years. The goal is to raise sufficient funds behind a research, watchdog and lobbying entity to properly police and reform a self-regulated judicial bureaucracy where support enforcement and domestic violence by fathers obtain state prosecution but false accusations, clear perjury by spiteful moms, custody abuses and extortion through incarceration are ignored or covered up.
For background, during the 1970s, Congress began legislating laws to track down absentee fathers to ease a growing welfare burden. Well intentioned, these laws were never divested of male parent targeting. Exemplary is a January, 2016 “Dead Beat Dad” crusade by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey. Over time, the scope of enforcement practices was enlarged to include all “noncustodial parents.” Its effect was to merge good, bad and absentee dads so that federal funding could be vastly increased while jeopardizing the long term viability of social security.
In a quest to maximize state revenues under Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, performance quotas were devised based on the number and magnitude of child support orders manufactured in family courts. The new rule of law became a profit motive for lawyers and lawyers on the bench. Through these “incentive grants,” judicial impartiality was sacrificed to the almighty buck with much less value placed on father-child relationships. In callous manner, family judges were incarcerating dads to alarming levels for a debt euphemistically termed “child support.”
In other debt instances, such imprisonment would be unlawful. But with children as its pretext and contempt of court as a weapon, the unconstitutional debtor prison was functionally resurrected with no public outcry. Gradually, these tribunals were rendered inherently prejudiced against fathers who may have simply been the victim of a bad economy. Lawyers were retained often with borrowed funds on a good faith belief that basic rights would avert the horror of being caged like an animal. No one came to the rescue because foxes were guarding the hen house.
In one of the most ironic twists, girls, women and moms were slaughtered along the way. Their own fathers, brothers, sons and partners became victims while countless dads recognizing the futility of fighting for their parental rights simply walked out of their children’s lives. This only added to the epidemic, undermining the original goals behind these laws. As the carnage grew, so did the number and variety of beneficiaries in the way of evaluators, “experts,” psychiatrists, pharmaceutical companies, mediators and more. They turned sparks of conflict into forest fires.
At first blush, the notion that courts are criminalizing fathers for profit is a hard pill to swallow. However, stripped of all the legal jargon and propaganda, draconian enforcement practices have been making criminals of non-criminal parents for many years while inciting crimes of horrific proportion including those committed by fatherless children in our schools, communities and workplaces. If those debtor practices were limited to the standard income and asset executions, we would not have the dubious distinction as the most imprisoned nation in the “free” world.
Despite profound advancements in equal rights for women, minorities and newly recognized classes of people, the Census Bureau continues to report that nearly 85% of parents paying child support are fathers. If those statistics were recorded for male employment, women would be rioting well beyond Trump’s White House. A review of public warrant lists shows that as much as 20% of arrestees are connected to support. Inmate lists follow the same pattern. Nearly all are fathers with veterans and minorities most vulnerable to suicides, violence and drug addiction.
Fatherless children are often a factor in mass shootings. Even where dads remain active in separate parenting environments, their authority is countermanded by judges purporting to act in the “best interests” of children they can never truly know. The emasculation of men, a futility in asserting a father’s basic rights and the sexist stigma of “dead beat dads” promote abandonment of vital parenting roles which have stood the test of time. This is a system which presumes that a dad has no desire to support his offspring while torturing the very incentive for doing so.
There is no refund or accountability when recipients of these welfare styled benefits spend their tax-free “awards” on drug abuse, gambling or vanity excesses. Meanwhile, judges charged with the highest duty of safeguarding our rights are eroding them instead. An antiquated “child custody” system remains “the law” in most states in lieu of progressive shared parenting because custody and support “wars” are lucrative whereas co-parenting is not. For the same reason, the damage caused by this revenue generating scheme is highly suppressed from public knowledge.
Money has become the priority in place of our children’s true best interests turning family courts into a socialist industry while making a mockery of our constitutions. Criminals, even violent felons, often receive lower sentences, less stigma and far greater rights than dads do here. They have freedom from self-incrimination, indigent free counsel, stricter due process protections, mandated disclosure, highest standard of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, jury rights and more.
In shocking contrast, a father can be incarcerated for extended periods without so much as an accusation of a crime and none of the rights just cited. And it can be wrapped up in a matter of months, even weeks. So reckless has it become that a contempt prosecution can be commenced by mail service of a summons with boldface capital letter warnings of arrest and imprisonment for up to seven years. Any non-appearance is ruthlessly answered by an arrest warrant instead of the standard default for other civil cases with an undertaking (bail) as a condition for release.
Should an errant debtor be fortunate to avoid immediate incarceration on a warrant, he will be “released on his own recognizance” no differently than an accused rapist. The entire process has been turned upside down with only the prosecuting parent given the benefit of free counsel. Indeed, when viewing the substance and not the formalities of these “family” court cases, they bear all the trappings of a criminal prosecution without the necessary constitutional safeguards.
In short, these “constitution-free zones” facilitate the easy imprisonment of fathers for profit. Worse yet, unlike any other targeted member of society, a debtor can become a revolving door inmate for an indefinite term of confinement, theoretically to the extreme of life imprisonment as a repeat offender. This is achieved through other draconian practices such as “imputed income” (judge speculated earnings), accruing monthly support obligations during incarceration, and a federal felony conviction should a father cross state lines under circumstances of flight.
Collection practices mirror those of loan sharks and underworld figures. Family judges know that payment will be made by high risk loans, employers or loved ones. The fleecing process is backed by the power of confinement. It was this sort of civil contempt, depicted as “keys to the jailhouse,” which landed California attorney and judicial whistle blower Richard Fine in solitary at age 70 for 18 months. As the Los Angeles County Sheriff aptly decried on CNN, such cells would have been better occupied by criminals given early releases due to prison overcrowding.
The most ominous aspect of this court process is that the parent who has been advised to war against the other has little knowledge of the potential magnitude of destruction until it is too late. The children may suffer most in the end while the lawyers and beneficiaries simply walk away from the damage they cause when the money has all been tapped. Then they blame the outcomes on their clients. There is no honor, remorse or concern for any of the carnage because this is “the law” without any mention made of the bar associations and special interests which produced it.
In consequence, meaningful reform efforts have failed across the board. Protests have likewise been suppressed through abuses of a parens patriae power that would be the envy of the FBI, CIA and IRS. Viet Nam veteran Thomas Ball protested by burning himself alive in front of a New Hampshire family court. Unlike the self-immolation he tried to copy in Morocco resulting in global media coverage, this one got little notice. They merely swept his ashes into a sewer. Still, he left a manifesto showing how to construct Molotov cocktails for attacking courthouses.
What little reform may be evident is focused on symptoms such as domestic violence prevention. Its futility is borne out by such cases as an upstate New York police investigator who committed a murder-suicide leaving four children without either parent. A high conflict divorce led to the easily obtained protection order against the dad followed by career damage and the confiscation of weapons. When support court left investigator Joseph Longo subsisting on marginal income, it was the last straw. He resorted to a common kitchen knife to register his form of protest.
The tactic of child exploitation to serve an illicit purpose is not new. It has been routinely employed by tyrannical regimes throughout history. For example, Adolph Hitler advised in his book, Mein Kampf, that if the state simply declares it is acting for the benefit of children, the people will “happily” give up their rights. Here, the tyrant is not so much a person as it is a giant bureaucracy and the illicit nature is not a war machine but an insatiable taxing monster. It has been unleashed on sensitive family relationships with little regard for the higher laws of nature.
While all this background was not known by Walter Scott on April 4, 2015, the gist of it was when he fled a child support warrant at a traffic stop in South Carolina. A “repeat offender” of child support orders, he had done enough prison time without commission of a crime and was shot dead in the back five times unarmed by a white officer. It would have been publicized otherwise but the horrific act was captured on cell phone by a concealed pedestrian. That event was blamed on racism, but as we shall see, our family courts were now killing for money.
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Let’s face it, mainstream media will not do it so we have to expose an epidemic on our own, the American way. Our children are worth it. Over the past month, I have embarked upon an advertising campaign in upstate New York to overcome widespread censorship of family court corruption. You should consider doing the same in your city or town.
It has become an epidemic which is harming our families, health, workplaces and moral fiber as a nation. A single half page advertisement for my new book, Satan’s Docket, resulted in a flurry of calls to local media according to reliable sources. The public is demanding an investigative report and exposure of the real issues which two family judge candidates are ignoring or covering up.
You can look up that ad entitled: Can Your Judge Be Bribed? on-line (pg A14 of hard copy) in Utica Observer Dispatch, October 15, 2017. And that was before a full page ad which I sponsored today (Sunday, October 22, 2017, pg A15) entitled: Is Family Court Becoming A Ponzi Operation? At first blush, the question appears extreme because we are led to believe that courts are very high places and their judges have reputations “beyond reproach.”
Indeed that is what lawyers claimed after chastising me for filing a motion for disqualification of my custody judge, Bryan Hedges. That motion was based on a federal lawsuit by his chief family clerk resulting in a $600,000 recovery based on her refusal to engage in “political espionage,” (Morin v Tormey). The chastising ended months later when the same judge resigned for sexual abuse on his handicapped five year old niece. As an adult she called to commend my reform efforts.
These and other horror stories are itemized in my advertisement series this month and detailed in my book available at www.parentingrightsinstitute.com. That book has been sent to media contacts as far away as Paris and California. A major news organization in Manhattan has e-mailed me with an interest in a potential documentary. As fellow parents and court victims, we need to do the same in communities across the country.
At present there is no protection for judicial whistleblowers like me. Judges and ethics lawyers (who resigned in my case for falsifying their time sheets) have been relentless in their retaliation. Serial rulings against me have gone to unconscionable extremes to discredit my public message after 23 unblemished years as a civil rights lawyer and ten years as a model parent. In my book I have compared their shameless onslaught to a Rodney King beating with the fists and batons replaced by orders and edicts.
If you are interested in genuine reform, log on to the Parenting Rights Institute website where our ten year efforts and services are detailed. And help our cause by sharing this post.
However this book is much more. It can be considered a crash course in divorce or family court, your education to an epidemic that is harming our children, families, schools, workplaces and health as a nation. It was a herculean project, years in the research and writing phase with a 108,000 word manuscript completed only last month.
At present this book is the hands of a major publisher with a possible release date early next year. In the meantime it has generated inquiries from a documentary producer and will hopefully lead to an overdue investigation by Congress or the Justice Department into the federal funding abuses in our state domestic relations courts. We will keep you posted on that objective.
While all this was in progress, so were the many family judge elections across the country which promise to expand this epidemic and bring even more harm to future generations. One such election in Oneida County, New York sparked the early release of this uncensored version of Satan’s Docket. Its author resides in that county and became troubled by the lack of vital discourse on the real issues in these courts. In coming weeks, he hopes to change all that through this unprecedented literary work.
Satan’s Docket was authored in an extraordinary way given the difficulty of attracting interest to such a stressful and complex subject. It was a lesson learned from Alec Baldwin and his 2009 book release, A Promise to Ourselves. That memoir failed to achieve its highly anticipated book sales. Indeed mainstream media was most focused on excerpts relating to his suicide attempts during an incendiary divorce with actress Kim Basinger. Dr. Koziol was invited to Alec’s book signing in Manhattan and shared his ordeal with Baldwin’s agent at Creative Artists in California. More recently, crucial advice was obtained from best selling authors at the Whistleblower Summit and Conference this past summer in Washington D.C.
The title, Satan’s Docket, was a risky selection but has gained wide support. It was proven ironically to be a well selected title after discovering Bradley Birkenfeld’s recent book release at the Summit entitled, Lucifer’s Bank. Mr. Birkenfeld was a whistleblower of the Swiss bank industry who suffered retaliation by a jail sentence of 30 months for tax evasion. On his release he recovered a record $104 million under the new IRS Whistleblower Protection Act. Another new book release at this Summit featured a woman lawyer disbarred for exposing court corruption in New Hampshire. Her book is titled, The Dark Side.
So it would appear that Satan’s Docket is right on target. It was also inspired by former New York Senate Leader Joseph Bruno, whose memoir, Keep Swinging, was released in November, 2016. Dr. Koziol’s book features two equal length halves. Part One is the Corruption segment of his subtitle. It is the macro part which describes a divorce and family court epidemic nationwide. Part Two is the Carnage half which focuses on his personal ordeal. In order to keep a broad section of readers glued to this book, a collection of shocking stories from around the country is spiced with romance, humor and horror in places ranging from Hawaii to Paris. It is a book well worth reading at a nominal cost that can save you college tuition and untold lawyer fees. It may be the best investment you will make in years.
Please share this post with as many parents, bloggers, media representatives and court victims that you can.
Continuing with our series on the Whistleblowers Summit and Civil Rights Conference in Washington D.C. last week, I had occasion to network with a variety of experts on the subject including Ken Williams, a Boston area homicide detective. He provided valuable insights from a law enforcement perspective on how to protect oneself from false prosecutions and assembling evidence for valid convictions.
On conclusion of this particular panel discussion, I asked whether there was any special protocol for investigations of judicial corruption. I cited my pedophile custody judge, Bryan Hedges, widespread misconduct ignored in my case, Operation Greylord in Chicago where federal judges were prosecuted while I was in law school, Gerald Garson and Thomas Spargo, New York Supreme Court Judges sent to prison for soliciting custody and divorce bribes in 2007, and the Kids for Cash Scandal in Pennsylvania.
Mr. Williams could relate no particular protocol in judge cases but seemed to recognize that this was a very sensitive area for judicial whistle blowers. Another speaker, civil rights attorney Stephen Kohn, an expert in this field, recently published a book which I purchased and discussed with him. In that book, Steve paints a scary picture of whistleblowers who routinely lose their jobs, reputation, homes and life’s savings as a result of this crucial exercise of First Amendment rights in a self-governing nation.
However I could find few examples in either his book or among conference attendees which exceeded mine, the retributions inflicted upon me for exposing corruption in the divorce industry. My ordeal is necessarily detailed in my upcoming book, Satan’s Docket, a memoir of my civil rights litigation over a thirty year period which also provides a valuable handbook for parents impacted in our nation’s divorce and family courts. Ultimately, through this book, I am hoping to secure a federal investigation into my case and reform of Title IV-D funding abuses to make shared parenting a reality.
Having just returned from a whistleblowers summit and conference in Washington D.C., I had the privilege of meeting numerous victims of government abuse. Of all that were featured, few exceeded my ordeal. Indeed, because I heard about the summit at the last minute, the sponsors could not get me on the speakers agenda which had already been formalized. However I was allowed to present my case followed by an interview with Summit sponsors for future publication.
My focus was different than most presenters who decried retributions by federal and state agencies (executive branch of government). I was determined to obtain protection for that unique category of citizens known as judicial whistleblowers. These are the ones who expose corruption in the judicial branch, the forums created by the people to bring justice for all the other whistleblowers. At present, there is no real protection for us as my ordeal has abundantly demonstrated.
From my pedophile custody judge removed from family court (Bryan Hedges) to divorce judges soliciting bribes to fix custody cases (Gerald Garson and Thomas Spargo), we have a growing crisis on our hands. These are judges taken down only because of courageous whistleblowers. One was a father-attorney in divorce. Another was a mom who lost custody of her child. How many more have never been caught? Without judicial whistleblowers, the other types may never see justice even with the federal Whistleblower Protection Act now in effect.
For this reason, Judicial whistleblowers need legal protection and monetary compensation for the risks and injuries they endure. After exposing widespread corruption among wealthy Americans dodging tax liabilities in Swiss banks, whistleblower Bradley Birkenfeld was wrongly prosecuted by the IRS and sent to prison for a thirty month term. Ultimately he recovered $102 million as part of a new IRS whistleblower protection program.
His ordeal has striking similarities to mine, wrongfully prosecuted by unethical ethics lawyers who were ultimately allowed to resign for falsifying their time sheets (Albany chief counsel Peter Torncello, Steven Zayas and Elizabeth Devane). My children, licenses and livelihood were all seized in retaliation for the widespread corruption I have been exposing to no avail before a self-regulating profession and court system. Less than 10% of all commission complaints in New York and California are even looked into.
This autumn, my book, Satan’s Docket, will be published. It exposes my shocking ordeal while serving as an instruction manual for all parents affected by our nation’s divorce and family courts. Unsure whether the title was a good one, all doubt was removed this past week in Washington with the presentation and release of Birkenfeld’s book titled, Lucifer’s Bank.
In an effort to pave the way for judicial whistleblower protection in New York, I presented a 25-page, $25 million claim before the New York Legislature. After personal visits to legislative offices, I finally got a call from legislative counsel for the Assembly Judiciary Committee (Weinstein). The uphill battle I faced was mutually detailed.
I have yet to receive replies of any kind from my former Assembly representative, Claudia Tenney, campaigning for Congress at the time, my Senate representative, Joseph Griffo, who declared me his friend time and again, or Anthony Brindisi, Assembly representative in the district where my law practice was shut down. All this occurred within the span of a few years after 23 unblemished years as a successful civil rights attorney and ten years as a model parent without even a complaint before any child protection agency.
Please share this post for the general benefit of all Americans. As U.S. Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley stated at a recent Whistleblower Day celebration, “You can’t fix something if you don’t know it’s broken. That’s just common sense.” But it’s much more than that for judicial whistleblowers: “You can’t get justice if corruption is being concealed by those who are supposed to deliver it.”
Okay, anyone can write a novel, right? It’s all made-up, fairyland stuff. I authored and published one myself in 2014. It’s called Voyage to Armageddon, and you can get a copy at Barnes and Noble Bookstores or order it on line at Amazon.
But what if a real story emerged, one that could actually happen to you. Welcome to my new literary work, years in the making and soon to be published. In fact, after releasing my first chapter on this site yesterday, I got a call and e-mail this morning from a publisher I did not solicit offering me a contract. An uncensored version is now available by ordering it on this site.
Yesterday I dedicated the first chapter to: “All Loving Dads on Fathers’ Day.” Today I am dedicating this chapter to all moms who love their children the same way. It is a segment of my fugitive ordeal in Paris when I sought international protection for parenting rights. You can also get the background and an excerpt which verifies the wide appeal of my book in two earlier posts of my Fathers’ Day Trilogy.
Today you get the PG-rated segment of Chapter Five entitled, Weaving A Tangled Web. It’s about a mom I met at an Irish Pub in Paris. The rest is the wild ride she gave me at the Bastille District, a night in Gay Paree I will never forget.
We pick up my story here at page 76:
During one such visit, I was treated to real entertainment after a wholesome meal. The singers, fiddles and jigs were straight out of Ireland, a short flight across the English Channel. It was also on this day that I met a single mom who was in the heat of a custody battle in the states. A group of estranged parents were exchanging multi-nation divorce scandals with me at the bar when this mom whittled it down to an exclusive conversation.
She wore a brown plaid skirt with white blouse, smiling in a manner wholly at odds with the war story she was conveying. Slender with long jet-black hair curled around one side of her shoulder, she could not have been much taller than five feet. All the trappings of an Irish lassie with an Asian origin, she was as cute and sexy as a woman could be. Seated on a stool to my right, she was quite nervous while relating her ordeal, crossing her legs and switching them regularly.
“So, Mr. big-shot New York lawyer, what do you know about French custody law? Can I pick your brain or is there going to be a fee for this?”
“You must’ve misunderstood my ordeal. I’m not a big-shot, I got shot big-time, more like an assassination by my own profession for exposing its corruption on parents like you.”
“Well I overheard you talking with the guys a little while ago about a billion dollar casino you shut down in New York.”
“You must’ve caught only part of that conversation too. I won the judgment that should have shut it down. I did what my surrounding landowner clients hired me to do, but like custody and divorce, money talks. The casino’s still there.”
“Well, then, you must still be good at what you do.”
“Depends how you look at it. I mean they flew in lawyers from Washington to argue against me on that casino case. One of the law firms was Cravath, Swaine and Moore. You should see their office building near Times Square. But even with my winning decision, they did an end-around with federal authority over Indian matters. Money usually wins out no matter the harm to gambling addicts or in our custody cases, the children. It’s all fueled by lawyer profits and federal funds.”
“So why not set up a law practice here in Paris?”
“I’m a bit intrigued by your questions. We barely know each other. I thought your custody case was in the United States. What do you care about French law and a practice for me in Paris?”
“Let’s just say my issues cross the borders. I may need to apply custody laws here but they’re not in my favor. I paid good money for the best lawyers to make sure my child was safe under my care. But I’m finding that my abusive ex is going to have him seized and returned to him.”
“Huh, that’s strange. From what I’ve read, France has a maternal preference in such matters. That seems to prevail even though it’s part of the European Union which stresses that both parents and their children have a right to a relationship. So I would think you’d be happy here. In the states, dads are 85% of parents paying child support. You should be good there too.”
“Well my case is unique. It goes far beyond basic custody laws.”
“It involves international law. That’s why when I heard you talking about national sovereignty with Sean and his friends, I figured you might be just the right guy for my case.”
“Again I think you misunderstood what we were talking about. I got off on the Native-American sovereignty issues associated with that Indian casino compact. They have their own custody norms. It gets very complicated. Nothing that could apply to you.”
“Maybe, maybe not. Do you have a business card? I’d like to give you my whole story on the phone, maybe over some early morning expresso if you don’t mind. Right now, it’s too noisy at this pub. That’s why I didn’t pick up on all of what you were saying.”
“Sure, no problem,” I replied while handing her my parent advocacy card, “but it’s all just bar talk. Don’t get too pumped about any of it.”
Over the years, I had been dealing with victims electronically for the most part. In this case, I found a custody warrior who had taken on much more than her parenting rival. Like me in New York, she had taken aim at corruption in the California divorce system, having written reports to various commissions, monitored court proceedings and organized rallies against domestic violence. In the end, she came up with essentially the same conclusions I did.
Her name was Linda, and she related an ordeal which could be considered my maternal counterpart. But there were puzzle pieces missing in all the competing bar talk. Occasionally melancholy, she betrayed great wit and broke out laughing at her own jokes. But when it came to court corruption, her mood got cold and sullen. A deep seated hatred for this custody system had found its way to our meeting, a potential release that might allow her to move on with life.
Despite being consumed by all her litigation, Linda managed to exude a feminine quality flavored by an eclectic mix of emotions. She was a tough gladiator, sensitive caretaker, an intellect, airhead, dictator and hopeless romantic all rolled up into one, lighting up at least ten human “disorders” on the DSM-5 manual from what I could tell. She impressed me as a rival to Debra Messing in her role as Kat in the acclaimed movie Wedding Date.
As our lively discourse progressed into the night, the music faded more and more from our attention span. I could sense that something special was developing between us. In a matter of only hours, our dialogue had converted total strangers into kindred spirits, fate-driven partners on a mission to save our offspring from common enemies thousands of miles apart.
The bar was getting louder as we were getting more intimate, so I invited Linda out for a stroll. I’d seen enough romantic couples arm-in-arm on these streets during my nightly returns to the hotel. Anxious to get a taste, it was a chance I took. To my delight, Linda happily accepted. Upon satisfying the lease payment for our extended stay, we exited Corcoran’s into the night time glitz of a lover’s side to Paris.
We headed back toward Place de la Bastille which was teeming with activity, from late diners seated outside various cafes to diverse tourists engaged in dialogue of many languages. You couldn’t help wondering how all those words meshed in one place without conflict or collision. We took photos of one another, then together at the urging of an elderly couple on an anniversary honeymoon. With their well wishes, we were suddenly on an impromptu honeymoon of our own.
One street off the northeast side of the plaza was quite inviting. We sauntered aimlessly along Rue de la Roquette, pausing from time to time to investigate the boutiques which caught Linda’s attention. Then we turned right onto Rue de Lappe as the passages narrowed. Here we found clubs galore and a hoard of night-goers which might intimidate most mature types, but to us it was an unexpected adventure, a trip back in time, a foray into our long-lost youth.
For no particular reason except its peculiar name, we boldly entered a night club known as Yellow Mad Monkey. Lots of energy inside, and there were actually large plants suspended from the ceiling to give this place a sort of jungle décor. Tarzan himself might swing down for a beer. There was a pair of chairs at a table that seemed available, maybe the only ones in this crowded venue, but the two couples already seated there appeared to have claimed title to them.
We must have looked out of place because, sensing our predicament, one of the guys invited us to join them. His name was Pierre from Quebec City, Canada, and he politely introduced us to his wife, Charlene, and acquaintances, Hank and Sheila. The latter couple across from us was from West Virginia and the foursome had met at the Louvre earlier in the week. None of us being locals, it was easy to join their conversation over tourist sites visited or yet to be explored.
“So what brings you two to Gay Paree?” asked our spontaneous host. He was a tall, stocky fellow in grey slacks and black silk shirt, middle aged with trim facial hair of Toby Keith variety.
“Oh we’re on our honeymoon, second marriage,” Linda replied with convincing character. She directed a celebratory smile toward each of our table mates and earned the intended reactions. I was last in line and first in shock but caught on quickly. We were going to have some fun with this, a role which that elderly couple assigned to us a short while ago and see where it all went.
“That’s so nice. Such a lovely couple, you guys, don’t you think Pierre?” Charlene was a shapely woman dressed in black pants and sky-blue top. A pearl necklace and jewelry on both hands signified their joint success. “I remember when we were on our honeymoon in Niagara Falls. So long ago, but it seems like yesterday. Where did all that time go?”
“I say we all get a shot to celebrate your new life together.” The offer came from Sheila, a long time girlfriend of Hank, the third man at our table. He was a burly guy dressed casually in jeans and a Mountaineers jersey evidently suffering from a sight defect because he could not seem to keep his eyes off Linda’s chest.
Sheila, on the other hand, came across as a fun-loving type, curvy figure and bleach blonde hair caught up in a bun. A red dress matched her rosy cheeks, and her arms were sufficiently intimidating to get Rambo accepting whatever offer she might make.
“Uh, sure, I guess, but I don’t do shots,” I interjected. “I’ll just substitute with a bottle of Bud. How about you, honey?” Linda was immediately ecstatic with my play-along, looking for max excitement the way a child explores a carnival, except this one had not been serving soda pop.
“Darling, I’ll have another vodka cranberry. We’ve had a long day, folks, and I can’t wait to get back to our room. You know how it is with wild sex, just can’t get enough fast enough. So the last thing I need is to pass out on my new hubby.”
Linda’s remark caused me to burst out with a laugh. So unexpected, it’s the way she delivered it, convincing yet perplexing. I guess you had to be there. I contained myself as quickly as I lost it, but our friends were already reacting with squint eyes and strange looks toward me and then each other. Linda was holding for now, but I was sure I could make her dam burst if I wanted to.
“Yeah like she passed out last night. And to think she was buck-naked when I took her off the elevator. Sweetie, you think you can make it to our suite tonight?”
“Not if you don’t get your hand off my thigh and back on the table where everyone can see it. Sex under the table is prohibited here, love, didn’t you see the sign at the entrance?”
It now appeared that our audience was unsure whether to be amused or disgusted by our x-rated, rapid-fire exchange. Charlene was cracking a Mona Lisa smile, Pierre looked stunned, Hank’s eyes were still glued to his prize but Sheila distinguished herself with an arousal at each remark.
“Yeah I saw that sign,” I replied. “And you’re going to see divorce papers if you pass out again.”
“Aw, such a jokester! See, Lee’s got this loaded gun when he doesn’t get his way. I love it when he shoots me dead at night, if you get my drift.” Linda added a few winks as if anyone needed it and pressed on. “Besides, we got company, honey, so behave.” Still sporting that trademark smile, she never missed a beat. This was getting more interesting as were the reactions.
“Alright, I’ll behave, but you owe me big time baby.”
“I love it when I owe you big time. When you’re big, I’m submissive. That’s the way it should be when a real man takes control.” Looking over her listeners with their disheveled appearances, Linda turned plaintive but only so long as necessary to keep her ruse in play.
“Sorry guys, we’ve been doing this foreplay thing all evening. It’s how we stay up all night taking care of business. How about you guys? Any action yet Charlene? Niagara Falls can’t be that far away?”
There was no reaction from Charlene. She just looked back at Linda as if she had just seen the monster in a horror flick. Linda was obviously getting quite loopy and carried away with her charade. In the process, she was taking us both over the falls here.
Concededly this was a foursome that was hard to read, square peg in a round hole, a classy reserved couple touring with Bonnie and Clyde. But give Linda credit, she was resilient. On the chance she offended anyone, she tried to make amends. Unfortunately, she overcompensated.
“I mean, we’re all here to have a romantic time together, aren’t we? I was just trying give you guys some inspiration the way we’ve been going at it. So’s it gonna be wild sex tonight or not?”
There was still no reaction from Pierre’s wife or anyone else for that matter until Sheila jumped in. It was anything but what we expected. In fact, it was much more than a game changer. Linda could never have imagined what her offer would elicit. It’s something we’ll never forget.
“Hey, whatever you two got going on, I wanna be a part of it. Did you hear that guys? Linda says she wants to share, like we all did last night. And what a night! Honey, you won’t crash on my watch, and as for your man, he ain’t seen nothing yet. You’re gonna love our toys. Let’s go now.”
Sheila’s counter-offer was shocking enough, but we were blown away when the other three at our table nodded approvingly. Linda and I were now their prey. It had to be an ambush. Neither of us could utter a word. Talk about censored speech. How were we going to get out of this jam?
They were all seriously serious, and for a moment I think Linda was feeling like she had just checked into the Hotel California. We stared in wonder, glanced at each another, our thoughts racing for a quick exit strategy. Then I took control.
“Sheila, you’re on.” I handed her a hotel business card with a room number scribbled on the back. “Bring your hottest nighty. And Hank, I got a cure for your eye problem, it’s called gasoline. We gotta go.”
I grabbed Linda by the hand and rushed her out of the club like mad monkees. That’s when her dam finally burst. Laughing hysterically, she stumbled alongside me down the sidewalk. It wasn’t long before we disappeared inconspicuously among the crowded streets.
When we got comfortable with our escape, Linda stopped, turned toward me and seized my elbows with each hand. She had that wild-eyed shock still plastered all over her face. It was as if she was suddenly back in high school after completing some kind of dare or sorority prank.
“I can’t believe what just happened,” she screamed, laughing to the point of tears. “Please tell me that didn’t just happen. Did they really think we were soliciting for a double manage-et-trois?”
“Not we, you! I never offered anything and you started it all. But I think they call it swingers.”
“Yeah like you weren’t enjoying it.”
“Actually I was, right up to the point where Bubba from the back woods was gonna have his way. I gotta say, Linda, you are crazy! I never met anyone quite like you.”
“Same here, I never met someone like me either.” She answered with a giggle as we locked our arms again and resumed our aimless stroll on the streets of Paris. “I really like you, Leon the lawyer. You got me out of a real jam there. I could use help like that in other areas. Can we get together tomorrow night? Drinks are on me.”
“I gotta hope you’re not too messed up right now. You downed a lot tonight and might forget this whole thing even happened in the morning. Are you sure you’re okay?”
“Absolutely, I’m getting good at this. A great stress reliever with all of what I’ve been going through. I got this lawyer right now who’s acting like a scared boy in front of my custody judge.”
“Well, then, it’s obvious you hired the wrong lawyer. Protecting a child is a man’s job, love.”
Linda quickly wrapped her arms around my head, inflicting a French kiss like I had never experienced before. “Wild sex could be the icing on our wedding cake tonight. Whatta ya say?”
“Tempting as that is, let me take a raincheck for now. It’s been a long day. Can I get you a cab, walk you home? I can’t just leave you unescorted in this condition.”
“Aw that’s so sweet. A real gentleman. Are you falling for me too, Lee? I sensed a bit of jealousy you know, back at that Monkee club. Gasoline? Seriously?” Linda was now slurring her words.
“The guy was a pervert, Lynn, he never said a word all night, just kept staring at your breasts. Talk about mad monkees in a jungle, I swear this one couldn’t formulate words. Besides, what’s a newlywed husband supposed to do? Good show by the way. You definitely know how to take a guy off-guard on a first date.”
“Well I gotta say, you rose to the occasion and delivered nicely too. I’m so glad we got married on our first date. Never heard of anyone having a wild ride like this.”
“Maybe I delivered, but not to get a star role in some Deliverance movie. What were you thinking? I had all I could do to keep up with your shenanigans. And how in the world did those two couples match up?”
“Yeah, I wondered the same thing. By the way, you didn’t really give your room card, did you?”
“I can’t believe you’d even ask. It was one of many cards I’ve been collecting for an extended stay here in Paris. My reservation at the current place is up next week, and the card I gave is from the last hotel I stayed at. The number on the back is the basement weight room.”
Linda laughed aloud, then stopped and faced me again, this time with a serious look. “Hey Lee, with what you just said, a great idea popped into my head.”
“Please, not another one. I can only handle one per century.”
“No, I’m serious, hear me out. I got this villa on the Riviera. I only come to Paris on business. I stay with relatives when I’m here. Why not visit me this weekend? Put off that reservation. I know you’ll love it down there.” She made her pitch enthusiastically, and frankly I fell for it, if not her. The proverbial tumbleweed, what did it matter where I went?
“Wow, that’s quite an offer. I’ve never been to the Riviera. Always wanted to go there though. This is all so spontaneous, but staying on the move may be just what the doctor ordered, especially after that call I got from Judge Paris.”
“Never mind, long story. Tell you what, the more I think about it, the more I like your idea. Let’s get together tomorrow night. We’ll meet at Corcoran’s and talk about this some more. If I can survive that forest fire you started at jungle bar, I can handle anything.”
“And I could use a guy like you to keep me out of fires like that. Sorry I got you into it, but you gotta admit, we had a riot getting out.”
“O, what a tangled web we weave when we first practice deceit.”
“What are you talking about, Lee?”
“Never mind again, another long story. It’s a quote from an old friend, a real old friend. Hey there’s a cab, let’s grab it.” We hopped into the back seat and away we went.
“Two stops, Rue de Clery at Poissonniere and Montmontre,” I announced.
“You sure you don’t want to make it one stop, Lee?”
“I’m a gentleman, remember? I may end up in Paris forever. So we got lots of time to get to know one another. If it’s going to happen, I want it to be special. And I think you’re real special, unfortunately very drunk too.”
“Alrighty then, bad for me, good for you.”
Linda eased us down into the seat and assumed a commanding position over me. Then she began to kiss, caress and stimulate me as if she had not had sex in a very long time. Come to think about it, neither had I.
To my amazement, an unexpected metamorphosis was occurring, a sweet transition from nightmare to fairy tale. We were two oppressed victims making our way to paradise without a care in the world. The cab driver lost sight of us in his rear view mirror and could only fantasize about our moans and maneuverings as he navigated to our destinations.
Eventually he came to a stop. Linda got herself together and exited while I monitored her walk toward some family home in this vicinity, the drop-off location she gave me for the cab driver. Barely onto the sidewalk, she turned, bent over and blew me a kiss. I smiled back. Then she sauntered off to points unknown, her now wrinkled blouse draping off one side of a displaced skirt and whatever was left of her hairstyle in utter disarray.
As the cab driver resumed his route toward my hotel, I reminisced about this extraordinary day. I did not know what to make of it, much less a woman who won my heart in so many ways. I may not have known much about my destiny, but I did know that I wanted more of Linda. Maybe it was that perfume, her special touch, the ambiance of Paris or a wild ride at the Bastille. Then again, maybe she was spinning a web I had never seen before.