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Thursday, August 26, 2021

Rand Calls Family Bridges Workshop "Dog and Pony Show"


A series of emails, deposition transcripts, and other documents peel back the layers of secrecy involved in the controversial family reunification camp and program called "Family Bridges". 

Family Bridges is run by Randy Rand, who did not renew his license after he got into trouble with a psychology board. Here is part of the findings. 

Rand was appointed as a special master in a high-conflict divorce proceeding between Loyal Davis and Jennifer Ives in Sonoma County, California. Davis and Ives had “ongoing issues” concerning visitation, and according to the special master agreement between the parties, Rand was appointed to assist them “ ‘based upon [his] expertise ․ as a court-appointed expert and license[d] mental health professional.’ “ Rand was to make decisions regarding matters such as dates, times, and methods of delivery of the children; sharing of vacations and holidays; participation by relatives in visitation; health care management; and communication with the children during non-custodial times. He was prohibited from making any orders affecting the court's exclusive jurisdiction to determine fundamental issues of custody and visitation, and could not make any orders altering or awarding physical or legal custody.

As the Board stated, and the trial court reiterated: “Special masters are generally used in high-conflict family law cases. One or more of the parties is likely to be combative, adversarial and difficult to deal with. The special master must remain neutral and impartial. The special master must avoid the appearance of favoring one side or the other or appear to align himself with one side or the other.” Rand failed to do so.

On their website, Family Bridges claims this regarding its workshops, "Family Bridges is an educational and experiential workshop that helps unreasonably alienated children and adolescents adjust to living with a parent they claim to hate or fear."

Rand was previously investigated by me for The Daily Caller, along with investigations in NBC Bay AreaNBC New York, and the Center for Investigative Reporting. 

His program- which can run four days- purports to reunite parents with children who have previously rejected them; critics contend that Rand often overlooks abuse, that his program has no psychological basis, and that he cannot show any data that what he's doing is successful. 

Now, in newly unearthed emails, Rand refers to his own workshop as a "dog and pony show."

Dog and Pony Show Email by mikekvolpe on Scribd

In the email, Rand states, "With a little coaching from me, she'll be able to assist you and me in running the dog and pony show."

Rand sent this email to Chris Turner, who helps run the Family Bridges workshop. Neither responded to my email for comment. 

In Rand's program, normally it is required that the so-called "alienating" parent be removed entirely from the children's lives for at least 90 days, but purportedly, the program provides a number of steps to reunify that parent, and as such, Rand claims to reunify the whole family. 

But in another email, it is made clear that the goal of the program is to completely remove the "alienating" parent from the child's life. 

12-15-11 RAND - Monitored Contact Which Won't Happen but We Let Then Know We Try by mikekvolpe on Scribd

In this email, Rand refers to a case and states, "and their mom will have to meet conditions to be able to have a monitored contact, which won't happen , but we let them know we try." 

I wrote about former major league baseball player David Segui in March, and he was initially barred from seeing his kids for ninety days, but that was also increased far beyond that. 

More on Segui's case here. 

Rand's program also has something called a moratorium, which is a prohibition from speaking about the past. Below is part of deposition from Richard Warshak, who previously implemented his program.
 Here is what Warshak stated, "And we declare a moratorium on discussing the conflicts because, in the past, the children come to therapy and think this is the place to complain about that parent, so they give a litany of complaints about the rejected parent and the therapy gets nowhere. The more they criticize the parent the more they feel like they better -- you know, that they have to be consistent; they have to see that parent in this terrible negative light. And sometimes we say they demonize the parents. So we attack it from a different angle where we say: That's the past."

In another deposition, Joann Murphy, who also implements Rand's program, states, "You have to understand there's a moratorium about speaking about the other family."

But a moratorium about speaking about the past, also means a moratorium about speaking about abuse the child may have suffered. 

Indeed, according to a court filing one child thought there past was being erased, "JR said, 'I am not allowed to remember the past. I am not allowed to have past memories. All of the things before Family Bridges were wiped away.'"

Finally, Murphy, in a deposition, claimed that most of the kids walk away happy. 

The rest has to come after that with aftercare, and I'm talking about a 96 -- and the children are asked to rate at the end how they feel about the program, very positive, positive, neutral, negative, hated it. I mean, it's amazing how the children loved this program. You -- you just wouldn't believe it unless you saw it. 

Not only have children spoken out in the media to say the opposite, there are nearly a dozen affidavits by now adults who were children in the Family Bridges program who say it was a nightmarish experience. 

"I do not want this to happen to a single other person," said Ariana to NBC Bay Area.

In the same program, Sam, who also went through the program, said, "I have never been the same."

Below is an affidavit written by Ana.

Ana's Statement by mikekvolpe

    Ana stated in part:    
Not only did the court give my mom sole custody, after I had revealed to them everything she had done to me and how scared I was at just the thought of her having full custody, but the court also forced us to attend Family Bridges. This program highlighted all the corruption that had been going on in the courts and all the corruption that will continue to destroy any chance at a normal childhood for me. The judge had 2 police escorts take my brother and I directly from the court house to the airport to make sure we went on the flight to San Francisco where Family Bridges took place. I obviously did not want to be there and kept reiterating to the people there (Richard Warshak, Randy Rand and I think Randy’s wife) the fact that PAS does not apply to us and they kept telling us that we have it and that’s why we came here. I figured this ‘program’ would only be a couple of days because our winter break was over in a couple of days and we would have to go back to school, but I’ll never forget when they basically told us that if we don’t tell them what they want to hear we are not leaving, and if that means missing school then so be it. From that point on, I realized the only way out of that psychological torture was to ‘fake it till we make it’ and so we started playing along with their theories and agreed with everything they said and acted exactly the way they wanted us to act, while counting down the days until we would be freed in our heads.

Another affidavit by Josh is below. 

Josh's Statement by mikekvolpe on Scribd

Josh stated in part: 

 After being stripped from my home, my mother, my dog and my life, my siblings and I were huddled on our father’s couch where we sat through multiple police officers preach on the recurring topic of what we had been attempting to convey was of our own creation, of how our thoughts, feelings, and experiences were not valid. Where we sat through hearing our father laugh with his lawyer about how our mom had cried in court when hearing the sentencing. Where we sat through our own emotions and sorrows. One night while we sat there battling our “invalid” and “alienated” emotions, our father threw a party. A party while his kids sat in his living room suffering, a party while he rejoiced his victory and we struggled with finding will to live. Little did we know this party was more than a victorious embrace, it was a goodbye. On that night, after everyone had left, escort agents entered the house and told us we'd be separated. It would be myself and my two brothers with some agents’ then my sister would be alone with other agents. We were not told where we were going, what we were going to be doing, or what the purpose was. All we knew was that this would be the second time we would be losing a family member in less than a month. We were put in a van and taken to hotels where we spent the night with these unknown transport agents. The next day we boarded airplanes and were flown to an unknown destination. To our relief, we were united with our sister after our flights to San Francisco, California. We started the family restoration program, "Family Bridges" there. While there, we were put in a conference room, shown clips of mothers planting corrupt ideas into children's minds, forced to speak only in agreement with them, and once again were treated as second hand citizens. The workshops were all day from around 9A.M. to 4P.M. The last day of imprisonment we were told we had two choices: either sign a document stating we would obey our father and operate as a family that we had never been due to his selfish and abusive ways, or be split up and put into foster care.

David Segui's children were so desperate to leave Family Bridges they left comments behind an article in Celeb Magazine, where one stated, "They Didn’t listen to a single thing I said [Family Bridges director] Dr. Rand said that I’m a liar and none of the abuse happened and got pissed off any time I brought it up. I went outside and was talking with the Therapeutic Interventionist and I told her how are you going to send me and my [sibling] back to her when she abused us and she told me that I need both parents in my life … and … I’ve been doing perfectly fine with my dad staying out of trouble unlike when I was living with her.” 

Post Script: 

This is part of a series on Family Bridges and the parental alienation concept. Please support the fundraiser to get more articles. Find the fundraiser here. 

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