New Film Exposes Shaken Baby Syndrome Myth – Opponents Want to Silence it at Film Festivals

A new film exposing the corruption behind much of the Shaken Baby Syndrome diagnosis used to remove children from the custody of their parents, and in some cases put parents behind bars, is currently making its way through the film festival circuit. The Syndrome is a film produced and directed by Meryl Goldsmith, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker who teamed up with her cousin and investigative reporter Susan Goldsmith as the co-producer and editor. It is Meryl Goldsmith’s feature directorial debut, according to the film’s website. Included in the cast are doctors and law professors.

Lauren Kirchner, writing for the Pacific Standard Magazine, recently interviewed Susan Goldsmith and discussed the opposition the film has received from the medical community:

Many of the film’s subjects have dedicated their professional lives to gaining attention to updated research on child injuries, and to defending accused abusers in court. For this, they have faced a huge backlash from the doctors and prosecutors who disagree. The filmmakers knew they’d get swept up in that, too. Many film festivals that considered including the film were threatened with litigation, and accused of promoting child abuse, the filmmakers said in a recent interview.

“This is a theme in our film—how the proponents of shaken baby syndrome and abusive head trauma have tried to silence their critics,” Susan Goldsmith says. “And that theme is extending to here and now, to our documentary. I was expecting it. We thought we were helping by uncovering these other medical conditions that can look like abuse, but are not [abuse]. It actually threatens the entire shaken baby syndrome working group and industrial complex.”

Kirchner writes that those who support Shaken Baby Syndrome in the medical field are part of a powerful and influential group, including the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Center on Shaken Baby Syndrome. Before the film’s first screening, they tried to get the Kansas International Film Festival to block the film, calling it “dangerous” even though they had not viewed it.

Here is a description of the film from the film’s website:

Audrey Edmunds, mother of three, spent 11 years in prison for killing a baby she never harmed. And she is not alone. What happens when widely held beliefs based on junk science lead to the convictions of innocent people?

The Syndrome is an explosive documentary following the crusade of a group of doctors, scientists, and legal scholars who have uncovered that “Shaken Baby Syndrome,” a child abuse theory responsible for hundreds of prosecutions each year in the US, is not scientifically valid. In fact, they say, it does not even exist.

Filmmaker Meryl Goldsmith teams with Award-winning investigative reporter Susan Goldsmith to document the unimaginable nightmare for those accused and shine a light on the men and women dedicating their lives to defending the prosecuted and freeing the convicted.

The Syndrome uncovers the origins of the myth of “Shaken Baby Syndrome.” It unflinchingly identifies those who have built careers and profited from this theory along with revealing their shocking pasts. Shaken baby proponents are determined to silence their critics while an unthinkable number of lives are ruined.

Last year (2014) law professor Deborah Tuerkheimer, who is featured in Goldsmith’s film, wrote a an article for Slate about 43-year-old Jennifer Del Prete, a former Illinois day care worker who had served 10 years of a 20 year prison sentence over Shaken Baby Syndrome, but was then released by a federal judge. Tuerkheimer’s article, Finally, a Judge Calls Shaken Baby Diagnosis an “Article of Faith”, stated that the ruling was “one of a growing number that reflect skepticism on the part of judges, juries, and even prosecutors about criminal convictions based on the medical diagnosis of shaken baby syndrome.”

Tuerkheimer went on to write:

The case is also a critical turning point. The certainty that once surrounded shaken baby syndrome… has been dissolving for years. The justice system is beginning to acknowledge this shift but should go further to re-examine and perhaps overturn more past convictions. (Read the full article.)

Shaken Baby Syndrome Can be Evidence of Vaccine-Induced Rickets

Christina England has written about the work of Dr. David Ayoub, a practicing radiologist from Springfield, Illinois, who has linked healing fractures found on x-rays of children, used to a mistakenly diagnosis Shaken Baby Syndrome, to infantile rickets.  Dr. Ayoub believes that it is not only a poor diet and the lack of sunshine that is responsible for the growing number of children suffering from rickets, but also the growing number of vaccinations containing the adjuvant aluminium.

Dr. Ayoub, an expert on the subject of infantile rickets, has been involved in hundreds of cases of misdiagnosed rickets worldwide and has testified on the behalf of many innocent parents charged with Shaken Baby Syndrome. (Read more about Dr. Ayoub here.)

Support The Syndrome Film!

Do not let the medical industry intimidate and block the message of The Syndrome! False Shaken Baby Syndrome charges are ripping children away from their parents and putting innocent people behind bars! The message of this film must reach the public!

Here are the upcoming screenings, and we encourage you to attend and support this film:

Geneva Film Festival—this Thursday 3/12 9 p.m. and Saturday 3/14 3 p.m. @Dodson Place, 416 South 2nd St., Geneva, IL

(In)Justice For All Film Festival–Monday, April 13th 6:30pm @ Northwestern University Chicago, IL

Arizona International Film Festival–April 9-26th (TBA) Tucson, AZ

For more times and showings at future dates, be sure to visit the film’s website: TheSyndromeFilm.com

Hope in God (I)

…it is such an important aspect of education to challenge the legitimacy of this widespread extension of state power. We have to begin to train the next generation to recognize that this expansion was never legitimate, and should never have been supported. There has to be a rethinking of the moral foundations of the culture with respect to the expansion of the welfare state. The next generation needs to be convinced that there are institutional alternatives to the welfare state, and these alternatives are legitimate. Not many people are involved in preaching this message of deliverance. This is why every little voice counts.[1]

Resisting the preposterous claims of the welfare state, when so much of the community is dependent on the welfare state, won’t grant you instantaneous popularity today. Those who have their snouts in the trough of government money will not love you and send you bouquets. And of those who don’t, many find the notion of a reduction, let alone an elimination in welfare to be a confusing or baffling suggestion.

But then, when the whole superstructure comes crashing down never to be re-built, it is critical there be individuals and organisations who had identified its inherent flaws, saw the cracks in the walls widening, and articulated/explained the need for massive change, and how to go about it.

The change must firstly be one of attitude. Welfarism has always promised much but provided little, unless you were a bureaucrat or politician. What has given welfarism away initially to Christians has been its consistent atheism, its hostility to marraige and the family, and the persistent gulf between its promises and its performance. Can any society deny God and survive, long-term?

We have had to trust that welfarism couldn’t survive whilst almost daily, the cracks and flaws in its superstructure seem to widen locally, nationally and internationally.

The Europeans where welfarism began under Bismarck in the 1880’s, are locked into a spiral of decline due to centralisation, massive government debt, high taxes, along with futile government attempts to manipulate the economy to health, that haven’t and cannot work.

Japan has experimented yet again with massive doses of Keynesian economic shock treatment, which have made the patient begin to lose his hair and colour, and feel more sickly than before. Now he’s saying, “Dr, I feel terrible!”

The US is mired in debts and stupid wars, and is so far into the tunnel there is clearly no light, especially at the other end. And no one at a national level has an appetite for change, or sees that the freight-train is nearing the precipice.

“Problems? What problems?”

I do not think the present ideology in favour of the welfare state can survive the demise of the finances of the welfare state.[2]

There will have to be individuals and institutions ready, when it finally goes pear-shaped. Preparation is firstly theological, spiritual and ideological, before it is anything else. Just like the Pauline epistles, we have to begin with the theological and ideological, then move onto the practical, and it all has to be fundamentally Christian in outlook.

The promise of the gospel is clear:

A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice. He will not be disheartened or crushed until He has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law (Isa. 42:3-4).

This is why we can be confident and have hope, because the promises of God apply today, just as they did when Matthew quoted from this passage in Matthew 12:18-21. Yes, ugliness will certainly come when the system we have known for so long in the West comes unglued.

But if we believers in Jesus Christ can understand that this has been the result of generations of rebellion against God, we may very well be able to lead the world out of the hole it has dug itself into, with Biblical solutions to the challenges of education, health and welfare, to name just a few.

This is what we have to be prepared to do, and it begins with an ideology of freedom and Biblical responsibility, something almost unheard of today, except by people of the Bible.

Are you ready for that?

 

 

[1] Gary North, “Cracked Walls and State Legitimacy,” (www.garynorth.com), 21/11/2014.

[2] Gary North, “The Setting for Serious Reform,” 17/5/2013.

A version of this column originally appeared in:

We Need Prop 122 to reform CPS / DCS

kl1bzn60_400x400[1]You've seen the headlines: Children abused. Children neglected. Children killed by their own parents. CPS, the agency charged with protecting abused kids, often fails to investigate..

But when the media, lawmakers or even ordinary Arizona citizens demand answers, CPS stonewalls and refuses to tell what really happened.

That's right, they won't answer questions and they refuse to respond to public records requests as required by Arizona law.

How can they get away with that?

The lawyers for CPS say that federal law prevents them from releasing this information. That's right, a federal law originally designed to protect kids is actually being used to protect the wrongdoing of bureaucrats instead.

Prop 122 can change that. Prop 122 forces Child Protective Services to be more transparent when children are harmed. Bureaucrats would be forced to give up documents that could shed light on where they made mistakes and more importantly give us insight into how we can prevent children from dying in the future.

Click here for more information on why we need Prop 122 to reform CPS.

Reversing the Church’s Decline

Any society which has explicitly or implicitly rejected the Ten Commandments is already in sharp decline. Reversing that decline will require radical action on the part of society’s most important institution, the Church. The Church must be stopped in its tracks, and go and find its Biblical foundations, all over again. That may take a generation or longer to accomplish, but otherwise we’ll just continue on the same old slippery slope to irrelevance, oblivion and judgment.

Church-Decline[1]The Old Testament prophets didn’t have an easy task going to Israel with their message from God. From Moses onwards, there wasn’t a lot of love lost towards them, because they were perennially confronting a nation determined to head into sin, idolatry and depravity. And when Jesus came with His message from God concerning the kingdom of heaven and His command to repent, despite the thousands of miraculous public healings, the resurrections from the dead and events such as the feeding of the five thousand, Israel found a way to have Him tried, condemned and executed.

What does this tell us? It’s a fact of human nature that people (including religious people), really don’t like being confronted and challenged to change. They very commonly find some way to either ignore the messenger, rationalise his message, or just get rid of him.

We cannot ignore human nature, for only God through Jesus Christ can change that. What we have to do is what prophets have always done: confront people with the perennial messages of repentance and the ethics of the kingdom of God. God requires the ethical faithfulness of His people to His covenant, but the wages of sin is death. There will be a lot more pain, if we don’t change, now.

Change has to begin somewhere, and it certainly can’t be nebulous, or merely a matter of good intentions. Noah and his sons needed a lot more than good intentions over 120 years, to build the ark. I believe change in the Church will have to begin with four things:

1)      A recognition that the 6-day Creation is foundational to the Church’s belief.

2)      A re-discovery of the importance of God’s covenant with His people.

3)      A re-appraisal of God’s law, and the absolute necessity of its application today.

4)      A tremendous growth in believers in personal, family and church responsibility.

All of this will require communication, discussion/debate and time. But the longer we leave it, the worse the Church and the world around us will get. The fate of the world for better or worse, is inextricably tied up with the state of the Church, because Jesus said, “You are the salt of the earth…” and “You are the light of the world…” (Mat.5:13-14).

The decline of the Church for hundreds of years now has been very serious. God helping us, it won’t be terminal. We’re like men on the deck of a burning ship in a vast ocean, with no ship in sight, no means of communications with the world, and no life-rafts. If we can’t put these doctrinal and theological fires out, we’ll go under. Thus we have a great imperative to get moving and working for dramatic but constructive change for the better.

Of course, there would be a huge proportion of people today in the Church who would respond saying, “What’s the problem?” That approximates the attitude of Lot’s sons-in-law, when he told them of the impending destruction of Sodom (Gen.19:14).

We have to confront the sin, the compromise and the failures of the Church over many generations, for it’s been God Who has been smiting His Church and bringing us to so many humiliations of late. We cannot expect Him to relent in this process, until we get busy effecting serious change and reform.

And if there are some who would say. “Look Andrew, the Lord Jesus would never do that, because He loves us so much, and He only does good to His people,” I need to remind them of what the Bible says:

Who gave Jacob up for spoil, and Israel up to plunderers? Was it not the Lord, against whom we have sinned, and in whose ways they were not willing to walk, and whose law they did not obey? So He poured out on him the heat of His anger and the fierceness of battle… (Isa.42:24-25).

And from the New Testament,

Behold then the kindness and severity of God; to those who fell, severity, but to you, God’s kindness, if you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off (Ro.11:22).

Conclusion:

I’m fond of the saying attributed to the Chinese: Every great journey starts with a few small steps. If the Church will respond to God in repentance and obedience, and start the challenging but rewarding process of getting its house in order after so many years of decline, there is a hope and a future for us.

We would be foolish to leave this to those who are today’s leaders. The Reformation wasn’t begun by men who were part of the era’s status quo. Those who have led us into crisis, will be the last ones who know how to get us out of it. Thus there is a great individual responsibility on believers (as at all times), to take up the challenge of personal obedience and faithfulness to God.

Will each of us be a part of the problem or part of the solution?

A version of this column originally appeared in:

Protecting the Children while Destroying the Child.

cps_logo_flag1[1]Do you believe Arizona’s families are more abusive than other states? Yet Arizona ranks 47th in the nation when it comes to child protective services.

Did you know that children in foster care are at a far greater risk of failure in adult life? A recent study by the National Health Statistics Report dated May 7, 2014, Adverse Family Experiences Among Children in Non-Parental Care, reveals that only 18.7% of children in foster care have no adverse family experiences compared to 70% of the children raised by their parents. Nearly half of the children in foster care have 4 or more adverse experiences.

Do you truly want to help the children?

Now is the time for the state to take the correct actions. You had it right when both houses unanimously passed SB1386 to spend $250,000 for an independent review of the current CPS system in Arizona.

In the past 20 months Arizona’s CPS has removed more than 5,000 additional children from their families, with the state standing at over 16,000 children in foster care today. If those 5,000 children were all placed in foster care it cost the state $3,000,000 per month just in foster care placement! Why would the governor not be willing to spend $250,000 to get an independent review to be sure the state makes the correct decisions before moving forward? Is it not fiscally responsible to fully investigate the problem before throwing another $60 million to find it only made the situation worse?

Why is it every time Arizona has a media crisis over child welfare does the state have another governor’s task force which results in more spending and an increase in the number of children in foster care, only to have the next media crisis a few years later because another group of children weren’t protected? The C.A.R.E. team is no different.

The C.A.R.E. team based their recommendations on input from those within the agency and those directly benefiting from the removal of children. They refused to accept information from the victims of CPS abuse, from the families of the children removed from their homes. They didn’t want to hear from the other side of the issue.

Our family lived through the removal of 9 grandchildren by CPS in Arizona. We witnessed first hand the abuse of the system itself. We experienced what no family should ever have to experience. The children became victims of a system that believes they are above the law in refusing to obey those laws the Arizona legislature has already put in place. Arizona actually has some of the best family rights/child protection laws in place. The problem isn’t always the law. The problem today is an out-of-control agency who refuses to abide by the law.

Unfortunately there are abusive parents in the world making a child protection agency necessary. But that agency should not be causing more abuse and permanent damage to the child than even a marginal family. Yet that is what we have today in Arizona.

Instead of become a victim of the system, we chose to observe, document, report and become an advocate for the protection of children and families. We created a citizens report of our own experience with CPS and the deficiencies we witnessed throughout the process. Our report is based on what went wrong within the system and our recommendations of what could be changed to improve the system.

Our report is attached. We hope you will take the time before the special session beginning on Tuesday to review our information, the information the C.A.R.E. team refused to accept. Then we hope you will once again support the spending of $250,000 for an independent review to analyze all sides of the problem to create an agency that will truly protect the child. We do not need to continue down the path of expanding the agency with the mission of “protecting the children while destroying the child.”

AZ Project 2014 Recommendations