The Wolferts girls still need help. Their father, an admitted pedophile, continues to fight to find his daughters who are hiding from him so they can be sent back to his home. They still need funds to pay their lawyers. If you can help in any amount, please contribute here.
Over on the Brought Safely Home blog, an anonymous supporter of Brian Wolferts has written a post defending admitted pedophile Brian Wolferts, titled "A Response." It is not clear exactly what the author is responding to, as the piece does not reveal it and does not link to any external site. As with the other posts on that blog, "A Response" contains numerous inaccuracies, half-truths, inconsistencies, and irrelevancies. I won't go through it line by line (though I could), but will address some of the major issues I have with it.
The first two sentences alone contain two inaccuracies:
The girls released a video where they said they ran away to be with their mother, and wouldn’t emerge until they could be with their mom. Then, allegations of abuse began to emerge.
The first problem is obvious: the girls did not say in their video that "they ran away to be with their mother." In fact, they said they ran away to be safe from their father. Here is what they said:
Syd: And it's actually the exact opposite. Our dad has so much hate for our mom, and he's got other people to hate her too, so he can get what he wants. And we care about him, but the lies that are being told and the hatred for our mom is hard to be around. Mom's positive and kind.Dani: And some attorney people who don't know us must think they do because they made us live with our dad.Syd: We are supposed to have the right to be safe. So we are refusing to go back. And if anyone tries to make us, we will just keep running away until we can be safe again.
(One wonders why the author of the blog post did not post a link to the actual video, or to the complete transcript of it which can be found on Brittany's blog).
The second problem is a little more subtle--the suggestion that "Then, allegations of abuse began to emerge." This is simply false. The girls ran away on July 17 and recorded their video on September 23 (according to the date/time stamp on the video itself). Allegations of abuse against Brian Wolferts were contained in the 32-page original petition to determine abuse and neglect that Brittany filed on June 26, 2014 on behalf of her sisters. The girls ran because they felt unsafe after Brian succeeded in getting the juvenile court to vacate the temporary restraining order that had been issued after Brittany filed the petition. They ran because they had publicly accused their father of abuse and were about to be sent back to his custody, a prospect that filled them with such dread and fear that they felt they had no other choice but to run away. If they had not accused him of abuse (and if he was, in fact, not abusive), they would have had no reason to run. Brittany also had leveled abuse allegations in her own video posted to YouTube in late August. And there were discussions of Brian's abuse on social media for weeks before Syd and Dani sent their video in early October.
Later in the post, the author states that "It’s worth noting that there were NO public allegations of abuse against the father, before one of the Mother’s supporters read the timeline on the daughter’s website and hinted that it was lacking in substance." As shown above, this is false. It is unclear which of the so-called "Mother's supporters" is supposed to have "read the timeline on the daughter's website" or to whom this unnamed person is alleged to have "hinted that it was lacking in substance." No individuals are named and no links to any of this activity are provided. This may seem a small matter, but it is emblematic of the author's tendency to play fast and loose with the facts and the author's failure to provide any documentation for assertions made. It is not clear why the author of the post wants to mislead the reader into thinking that abuse allegations only emerged after Syd and Dani sent their video. Abuse allegations (as well as a mountain of evidence and testimony supporting those accusations) have followed Brian Wolferts for years.
Next, the blog post author inconsistently claims to have read Brittany's blog and been unable to find any abuse allegations at all, that what Brittany has revealed on her blog isn't abuse but instead:
consisted mostly of comparatively innocuous situations – such as an awkward discussion about bras, an off-color joke, an uncomfortable discussion warning them against child pornography, a racy story from his youth, as well as extremely detailed observations of her father’s interactions (all negative) with her step-mother, including anger, arguments, and so on.
The author later says that the things on Brittany's blog represent "weak, absurd, or frivolous" charges against her dad, and as examples of such specifically refers the reader to the parts of Brittany's blog describing Brian's: trashing of baby Abby's teddy bear; extensive abuse of Angie; in-depth discussion of child pornography; fantasy about his daughters passionately kissing each other; making Abby cry in a public restroom; taking Abby behind a locked door for extended periods of time making her scream in terror several times a week, while her mom and sisters listened in fear; examining his teenage daughter's bras and comparing them to his wife's; and telling his young daughter's a fanciful tale of a naked Brazilian woman who supposedly threw herself at him when he was on his mission. These are the things the author says are "innocuous, weak, absurd, or frivolous." How or why the author has come to this conclusion is a mystery.
The author of "A Response" refers the reader to Brittany's blog (again, in a breach of blogging etiquette, without linking to it) for more, implying that the allegations she and her sisters have made against her father are all "innocuous" or "weak, absurd, or frivolous." One wonders if the author has read the same things I have on Brittany's blog. The author, like other supporters of Brian, denies, deflects, demeans, and, ultimately, dismisses the girls in defense of Brian.
Brittany and her sisters have accused their father Brian Wolferts of being physically and emotionally abusive to them and their stepmom and toddler half-sister Abby over the last four years, since he was granted full custody over them in March 2011. Brittany has also accused Brian Wolferts, an admitted pedophile, of engaging in lewd behavior toward her and her sisters in recent years, and all three girls have expressed extreme concern about what Brian Wolferts does to Abby behind locked doors. Syd and Dani have not had their voices heard to the same degree that Brittany has; their attempts to get a court to hear them have been thwarted at every turn by Brian's legal maneuvering. We don't know exactly what they told Dr. Hyde when he examined them in June 2014, but whatever they said was enough to compel Dr. Hyde to contact DCFS and to execute an affidavit in support of the petition Brittany filed. In that affidavit he said that that the girls “would be severely emotionally harmed if they were restored to the physical custody of their father.”
Now, let's see what Brian's supporter calls "innocuous, weak, absurd, or frivolous" shall we?
Here are some of the allegations of physical abuse that Brittany, Sydney, and Dani have leveled against Brian Wolferts and which are included on Brittany's blog and the documents linked to there. Note that these allegations concern things Brian has done since he got full custody in March 2011 and thus have never been heard by any court of law. The girls have reported that:
- When they were small children, Brian would violently:
- wrench their skin,
- pull their hair,
- jam his elbow into their abdomens and
- knock their heads with knuckles or thumb and forefinger, etc.
- Brian often picks Abby up in a very unusual way by gripping his hands around her upper thighs and carrying her by her upper thighs in to her room.
- Brittany and the girls have seen him physically hurt Abby, and have seen many bruises on her upper thighs. They have been too afraid to take pictures because he would always check their phones and obsessively control them in order to find out about every single thing they would do or say.
- Brian would take Abby screaming into the room, lock the door, and prevent her mother Angie and everyone else from entering. The girls would overhear a pattern of Abby going from 5 to 10 minutes of intense screaming to about 15 seconds or more of abrupt silence, screaming again then silence, which would be followed by a long period of crying. They often wondered if it was possible for her to be dead during her sudden total silence after screaming only because they couldn’t think of anything that would cause her sudden silence. This happened approximately 2 to 3 times a week beginning from around the time she was 1 and 1½ years old, which would make it over 200 times. [For a specific and detailed example of this, see here. And another example here.]
- Brian has slapped, been verbally abusive and been extremely cruel to the girls' stepmom Angie in front of them on a weekly basis, constantly making her cry.
- Numerous times Brian has slapped Angie’s arms in anger, grabbing one of her arms and squeezing roughly, or squeezing her thigh really hard when he's clearly displeased with something she's done or said. He especially does things like this when they're in a group setting and the thinks nobody can see him hurting her. I think he likes getting away with cruelties in the midst of people who think highly of him. I've seen him doing it, and his knuckles were white as he squeezed, and Angie knew to stop doing whatever had displeased him.
- Brian forced Sydney on numerous occasions over the last several years to consume foods containing gluten, even though he knows that Sydney has Celiac disease, causing Sydney terrible pain and sickness as a result.
- In 2012, Angie came home from the doctor and told Brittany that Abby's doctor had examined Abby and told her that Abby limped because she had a problem with her hips caused by physical trauma of some kind - an injury she had not been born with. [The author of "A Response" claims that Abby's injury has been investigated by Kansas authorities and Brian has been "cleared." But neither Brian nor his supporters have provided any evidence for this assertion.]
Personally, I don't find any of the above accusations "innocuous, weak, absurd, or frivolous." I am not sure why the author of the post does, but I am certain that I would not want the author to ever be alone with children. I don't think violently shaking, shoving, slapping, or throwing children is "innocuous." Nor do I think wrenching their skin, pulling their hair, jamming an elbow in their abdomens, or knocking their heads with one's knuckles is "innocuous." If this were the only allegation made against the admitted pedophile Brian Wolferts, I would consider him an abusive man and be concerned for the safety of the children in his care. But of course, that is just bullet point number one on the above list. The things he does to that poor toddler make me cringe. The way he treats his current wife (similar to the way he treated his former wife) are equally appalling. I find nothing about these allegations to be "innocuous, weak, absurd, or frivolous" in the slightest, and shame on anyone who does. The author of "A Response," however, apparently thinks that abuse is only abuse if it involves "broken limbs, hyper-extended joints, cigarette burns, large bruises, fractured skulls, belt marks, and other trauma."
These are just some of the physical abuse allegations that have been made, relating only to the time during which Brian has had full custody.
Now let's look at some of what the girls have said concerning their father's severe and relentless emotional abuse that he has rained down on their family over the past several years:
- As a punishment of two-year-old Abby, Brian took her favorite stuffed animal, Bear, from whom she had never spent a night apart, and angrily threw it in the trash, telling her she would never see it again.
- Brian obsessively monitored all contact the girls had with their mother, limiting phone time to 15 minutes a week, while he monitored the conversations.
- Brian would never let the girls appear sad or they'd be punished.
- He would oftentimes tell Brittany that having a relationship with her mother wasn't healthy and in order to lead a good life she needed to cut her off completely.
- Brian would take their phones and compare his online phone company records to see if they had deleted any texts. If he found that they had deleted a text, he would be angry and yell at them for doing so, always lecturing about their mom with his assumptions that they had tried to contact their mother.
- His obsessive monitoring of their phones made it impossible for any of them to take pictures of the bruises he would leave on Abby.
- He wouldn't let Angie take her phone or purse with her into public restrooms or in places where she might be able to talk on her phone without him there to hear her and monitor her communications.
- For a list of 36 specific ways in which Brian emotionally abused Angie, see here.
- Brian had cameras set up along the entire perimeter of his house outside. Every time he would get home from work or from being away from home, he would go straight into his office and check the recorded video surveillance to see what had happened while he was away. The girls knew this was what he was doing, because often he would come out and immediately grill them about why they had been talking to each other out in the yard, driveway, or walkway/street beyond the house.
- Brian wouldn't allow the girls to be alone in their rooms together, allow them to do each others' hair, or even hug each other at bedtime. (He forbade Sydney and Dani from hugging Brittany after family prayers at bedtime, because he believed that they had been giving her longer hugs than they had been giving Angie.)
- Brian forbade Brittany from ever going down to the level of the house where Sydney’s and Dani’s bedrooms were located.
- He went through the girls' belongings, took their private journals, and put them in his bedside drawer.
- He would target the girls one at a time, lecturing often at the kitchen table until whomever it was he was targeting was sobbing. If any of the siblings would appear and look at the one in trouble, he would either say or yell, “You’re not allowed to be up here! Don’t you DARE talk to [whichever sobbing child he was lecturing] about this afterward!”
- If Brian's lectures would make one of the girls cry, he would demand total isolation for that child for the rest of that day if she acted depressed.
- Brian sent the girls to therapy with the express purpose of getting them to believe that their mother Michelle was mentally ill and religiously derelict.
- Brian attempted to get the girls to cut off all ties with their mother.
- Brian bad-mouthed the girls' mother to them on a daily basis, telling them, among other things that their mom:
- Doesn't love them and never has.
- Is an abuser and a liar.
- Refused to care for them when they were little and had no job.
- Lives just to oppress him and obsesses over destroying his happiness.
- Hired expensive lawyers to charge him and lie.
- Joined a "secret cult" of women who hate men and love divorce.
- Lost custody because she was abusive and he was found by the courts to be a "perfect parent and father."
- Has brain and emotional problems.
- Danielle told her sister Brittany that Brian:
- "[H]as always hated and talked bad about mom so much that it hurts my brain."
- "Always tells me that everyone hates mom and he says very, very bad things about my mother almost every day. He tries to make me hate her."
- "He's always told me that mom doesn't love us."
- "Tells me that mom rejected us and that is not what good parents do."
- "Always saying over and over always that she abused us when we were little like he is trying to make me have a memory of things that didn't happen."
- "Gets really mad if we try to stand up for mom when he's saying so many bad things about her that aren't true. I try to be brave and say something but I don't want to get in trouble.
- "Dad tells me that I believe bad things about him only because mom always tells me bad things, but this mixes me up so much because he is always the one telling me to believe bad things about my mom."
- "When I'm always hearing these things from him I start to feel like I'm going to fall apart and that I'm going to fall and the ground is going to swallow me up because of all the pressure pushing me in."
These statements from Dani echo what she and Sydney said in the video they sent in early October:
Dani: And the reason why we were taken from our mom in the first place is because of a really big lie. And it's so weird that we were taken because of that lie after living with our mom our whole life. Our mom hasn't ever made us or tried to make us hate our dad, but some people keep trying to make us believe that.Syd: And it's actually the exact opposite. Our dad has so much hate for our mom, and he's got other people to hate her too, so he can get what he wants. And we care about him, but the lies that are being told and the hatred for our mom is hard to be around. Mom's positive and kind.
It is ironic that Brian and his supporters have repeatedly accused Michelle of engaging in "parental alienation" when the evidence shows that Brian is the one who has repeatedly, consistently sought to alienate the girls from their mother. During the four years he had custody, the girls report that he berated their mother daily and subjected the girls to hours-long lectures about how bad their mother was. The girls also report that their mother never did the same. Interestingly, the author of "A Response" claims to be someone who just started following the story "when it was simply a community search for 2 missing girls." But the author also claims to have seen the court order that granted custody to Brian in March 2010, and also claims that the custody decision "used the term Parental Alienation, so I looked up the symptoms of Parental Alienation Syndrome." This is an odd thing to say because the court order that granted custody to Brian did not use the term "Parental Alienation" and has not been posted anywhere to my knowledge (so where would the author have seen it?). The custody evaluator's report also did not use the term "Parental Alienation" (and was only posted a couple weeks ago in any event). Nor did the 2013 Court of Appeals decision ever use the term "Parental Alienation." So, the author is clearly lying about having read the term "Parental Alienation" in "the custody decision where Michelle lost custody of the girls" and then looking it up to see what it meant. Why would the author lie about that?
As with the accusations of physical abuse, I don't find the above allegations of emotional abuse (again, relating only to the last four years and never heard by any court) to be in any way "innocuous, weak, absurd, or frivolous." I take them seriously. I feel for the girls who have suffered such abuse (and that's what it is--abuse, and these are not all of the examples that could be given; more will be coming forth on Brittany's blog) at the hands of Brian Wolferts, and I frankly stagger at the suggestion that the things Brittany and her sisters have described would ever be referred to as "innocuous." If Brian didn't write "A Response" then it could only have been written by someone of equally malicious mind and spirit.
Now, let's look at the issue of sexual abuse. The author of "A Response" defends Brian's past history of sexual deviancy, acknowledging without negative commentary that "Brian admitted 'to a history of sexual contact with a child during his adolescence . . .'" (quoting the custody evaluator report). This, in itself, is stunning. Think about this for a moment. The author of "A Response" has nothing critical whatever to say about the fact that Brian Wolferts admitted during a polygraph examination to "a history of sexual contact with a child." Let that just sink in for a moment. . . . But it gets better (or, truly, a whole lot worse). The author then engages in some rhetorical sleight of hand, noting that "at the age of 23, [Brian] was seen by two young girls as he exited a shower." But what the custody report actually said was this: "Brian also admits that at the age of 23 he exposed himself to two young girls as he exited a shower." Notice how the author used the passive voice to disguise Brian's active role in the incident. The author says "he was seen by two young girls"; the report says "Brian . . . exposed himself to two young girls." Small word change; big difference in meaning. The author, again without a word of criticism, states matter-of-factly that Brian "admitted to ‘years later’ fantasizing about reenacting scenes with the child (6-7 years), with one of the girls who saw him (11 or 12 years)." Again, the author's paraphrasing of the custody evaluator's report serves to minimize what Brian actually did. The custody report actually said that "'years later' he masturbated to thoughts of the older girl (11 or 12 at the time of the incident) by placing her in the position of the younger girl (6 or 7 at the time of the incident)." In other words, Brian, in at earliest his late 20s, was having sexual fantasies about a girl as young as six years old. Why the author of "A Response" or the custody evaluator did not find this information highly disturbing is beyond me. Why the author wants to minimize and dismiss it as inconsequential is equally baffling.
For some reason, the custody evaluator cited but did not follow the ethical guidelines promulgated by the Association for the Treatment of Sex Abusers, which indicate that "[a] client who has a history of sexual conduct with children or who reports engaging in sexual fantasies about children should be restricted from having unsupervised visitation with Children." The custody evaluator, in direct contradiction to the ethical guidelines, invented four excuses for deviating from this rule, citing "a) the significant length of time since Brian's sexual contact with children, b) Brian's demonstrated control over any deviant arousal he may have experienced, c) the fact that other responsible adults have been informed of his sexual history, d) and that his daughters are of such an age where they are fully capable of reporting any inappropriate sexual behaviors on the part of Brian should they occur." For these four reasons that the custody evaluator pulled out of thin air, he remarkably concluded that Brian posed "little or no threat to sexually assault his daughters."
The custody evaluator's conclusion was shared with the court, but the professionals who knew Brian best, Drs. Hyde and Roby, disagreed with it. Their opinions, however, were not heard by the court. Let's look at the four "reasons" the custody evaluator thought justified giving full custody to admitted pedophile Brian Wolferts. First, the custody evaluator mentioned the "significant length of time" that had elapsed since Brian had had sexual contact with a child. But Dr. Blakelock did not explain why he thought that was relevant, especially given Brian's recent self-described sex addiction (in which he engaged in numerous sexual affairs both in the flesh and online in the early 2000s, when he was in his 30s) and given his fantasies about sex with little girls "years after" he was 23 years old. Why would the fact that Brian's history of "sexual contact with children" occurred when he was an adolescent be relevant? And did the custody evaluator consider any of the testimony of Michelle Wolferts, who related how Brian told her that when their "8-year-old daughter began to date that she should tell us in detail how her body physically reacts to what they do to her"? Did the custody evaluator consider Michelle's testimony that, in 2009, when Brittany was 14, she "appeared stressed over Brian's repeated requests for pictures of her teenage friends"? Did the custody evaluator consider Michelle's testimony that Brian told her he was "sexually attracted to" "his female teenage cousins"? Or that during their marriage "Brian repeatedly asked" if their "daughters had seen him in the shower, peeing, and asked why they would have put their hands on the outside of his pants exactly where his penis was"? Did the custody evaluator see no connection between these recent remarks by Brian and his earlier exposure of himself to young girls? Why would the custody evaluator think that the so-called "significant length of time" since Brian had had "sexual contact with a child" was relevant, considering the fact that "[p]edophilia, like many types of disturbances or diseases, does not have a complete cure. The sexual urges associated with pedophilia may never permanently disappear, and a person’s sexual preference and orientation can be difficult to completely re-orient." Surely, Dr. Blakelock knew this. And he should have known that Brian never completed his sex-addiction therapy with Dr. Roby.
Second, the custody evaluator mentioned "Brian's demonstrated control over any deviant arousal he may have experienced" but cited no evidence for it. None. Again, Drs. Hyde and Roby, who knew Brian best, were not consulted; their opinions were ignored entirely. The custody evaluator does not say why he thought that Brian was demonstrating "control over any deviant arousal" or why he thought that situation was certain to continue until Brian's daughters reached adulthood.
Third, the custody evaluator cited "the fact that other responsible adults have been informed of his sexual history." This is a most curious point for the evaluator to make. It is true. One of those "responsible adults" was Michelle, and she informed other "responsible adults," a fact which was used against her by the custody evaluator. And when Michelle learned of Brian's sexual history and tried to protect her girls, the result was the custody evaluator not only not recommending that Brian get supervised visits but instead recommending that Michelle lose primary custody--all because she blew the whistle on Brian's sexual deviancy!
Fourth, the custody evaluator mentioned that "Brian's daughters are of such an age where they are fully capable of reporting any inappropriate sexual behaviors on the part of Brian should they occur." This, of course, is exactly what they had done back in 2008, which prompted Michelle to seek supervised visits for them. It is also what they did in 2014, which resulted in the juvenile court dismissing their petition without hearing the substantive claims. The girls have tried to report Brian's abuse, only to be told by people such as the author of "A Response" that their claims are "innocuous, weak, absurd, or frivolous." They have been told that they are "brainwashed" and that anything they say can't be trusted; that they don't even know who their "real" abuser is. And they have seen people they loved and trusted come running to the defense of their abusive pedophile father. Furthermore, this particular "reason" for letting an admitted pedophile have full custody of his daughters became inapplicable once Abby was born--she's not old enough to report "any inappropriate sexual behaviors." Her screams from behind locked doors are the only voice she has against Brian Wolferts's abuse.
This, of course, is all prologue to what the admitted pedophile Brian has done since he got custody, and to the potential threat he poses to his teen daughters should they be forced to return to his dominion and control, and to little Abby, who still suffers under it. Brittany has detailed some of his lewd behavior on her blog, behavior the author of "A Response" calls "innocuous." Again, I disagree. Given the factual backdrop, this video makes me cringe:
And the following allegations take on additional gravity:
- Brian gave Brittany a 20-30-minute detailed lecture on child pornography, in which he had her imagine him engaging in sexual acts with baby Abby.
- He imagined his daughters passionately kissing and fogging up the car windows, and planted that idea in his daughters' minds.
- Brian told a story about a time on his mission when he was accosted by a nude Brazilian woman whom he had to fight off heroically.
- He went through his teenage daughter's bras, lectured her about them, and embarrassed her by copmparing them to the ones his wife wears.
The physical, emotional, and sexual abuse suffered by the Wolferts girls at the hands of the admitted pedophile Brian Wolferts is substantial, it is serious, and it is not to be glibly dismissed. Those who know of it and yet demean and denigrate the girls who are bravely reporting it ought to be ashamed. They are throwing their support behind an abuser and helping him to continue to heap abuse on his victims. No amount of spinning or ignoring the facts or hiding behind years-old ill-considered court rulings will alter that reality. No amount of rhetorical legerdemain will obscure the fact that Brian Wolferts is an abuser who is working tirelessly to prevent his girls from having a voice and obtaining the protection from him they so justly deserve. After reading "A Response" it appears the best defense the author has for Brian is that it's been a long time since he was proven to have sexual contact with a child, and the worst that can be said about Michelle is that she tried to protect her daughters from an admitted pedophile. I will side with the people trying to protect children from Brian Woflerts. I will leave it to the anonymous author of "A Response" (and is it any wonder the author wants to remain anonymous?) with the unenviable task of defending the admitted pedophile and physically and emotionally abusive Brain Wolferts. I am still puzzled as to why anyone would want to take up that particular cause.