Thoughts From Paul Petersen

Below are excerpts from an email sent from Paul Petersen to our reader BeckyQ. Mr. Petersen can be contacted at ppetersen3@socal.rr.com

This is an important topic, "The Principle of Disaffirmance," and it extends to all minors upon their arrival at the Age of Majority...unless the contract to be 'disaffirmed' is Court Approved.
At 17, LeeAnn Rimes tried to get a Texas court to re-examine the contract signed on her behalf and approved by a Texas Court when she was 12 years-old.
At stake was 7 million dollars of money earned by LeeAnn that had, effectively, gone into the pockets of her parents...specifically her father...who claimed to be managing her career.

This is so obviously flawed that you have to wonder who is profiting from a legal system that ensures parental theft.
The answer is as complex as the riddle of Family Law, which is underpinned by the discredited notion that parents would never cause harm to or exploit the children they bring into the world.
Here's something to read you will find chilling: http://childrightscampaign.org/documents/30%20Facts.pdf
The simple fact is that children are at the mercy of the very people who should care most about their welfare. Our almost medievil view of children as chattels was based on the physical labor children could provide in an agrarian society, and their value as "providers" for their aging or infirm parents on the other side of life's journey.

To get back to your initial question as to whether a child may "disaffirm a contract" before they are adults in the eyes of the Law has no foundation. Children are presumed to be unable to provide Informed Consent or Denial due to their age. They are dependant upon the assumed rights of their parents. Yes, mechanisms exist to "rescue" a child living in horrible circumstances, but that depends on a vigilant and energetic Department of Social Services and/or policing authorities. Sadly, while every citizen of this country has a "Duty to Report" child abuse in all its forms, the simple reality is that all too often that "Duty" is observed in the breech. Formal complaints have been made in Pennsylvania, and the Department of Labor and Industry admits publicly that an "investigation is in process." Perhaps you and your pen pals in the blogosphere of "GWOP" might consider formally writing to the department just mentioned and insist that they pursue their investigation into the totality of production for the past five years. You have watched this show closely and can provide specific examples of your fears. We have to keep the heat on Pennsylvania.

Ask yourself, is there really any sympathy for the drug-addicted celebrities who appear on "Celebrity Rehab," or are people really saying to themselves, "How bad can it be? They're on television!?"

That's what famous kids have to deal with when they are discarded...and it is undeniably true that even our Courts can't see past their own noses when the plight of a famous child is brought to their attention in contractual matters such as Disaffirmance. Even Jackie Coogan, when he finally sued his own mother in an attempt to recover some of the $4 million dollars he'd earned as a child, had to deal with the underlying emotional reality of his time although his case was without blemish since the exploitation was so obvious and his parent's public pronouncements of guaranteeing their wonder-child's future so widely distributed...and that emotional environment was precisely the same then as it is in today's fundemental reality when a child challenges his own parents.
"How dare you question your own parents? They brought you into this world. The Bible itself says to Honor thy Mother and Father."
Is there a mother or father anywhere on earth who hasn't said, "If your friends told you to jump off a cliff would you do it?" Yet what is a child to do when Mom and Dad are the ones saying, "Jump?"

We must get people to see past the material things the Gosselins have acquired due to the sale of their 'management' of their children's lives. I believe that there isn't a house big enough, or a school superior enough, or a collection of possessions large enough to justify the loss of eight children's freedom and privacy. Since when are children called upon to provide their own food, clothing, shelter and education?

Let me answer my own question, Becky. The blunt fact is that children who find themselves in difficult situations have to rely on their Instinct to Survive...and it is only Survival itself that trumps that other great imperative, Becky...the biological imperative to Reproduce. Children have a very keen sense of being unloved and unwanted, of being a beast of burden rather than a blessing from beyond.

I fear there is little I can do to prevent the political exploitation by someone who should know better, Maria Schriver, who has now engaged Kate Gosselin to appear at the California woman's forum...for a price brokered by Kate's management team and accepted by political people who are hiding behind a mask of actually caring.

20 comments:

Tina said...

Paul Peterson....my new hero....thank you for all that you do!

lukebandit said...

when my husband of 19 years left me with my 3 boys ages 18, 16 and 15, i had just suffered a massive stroke and was in a coma for 3 days. when i recovered, we went to court for our divorce, he had been having an affair with a woman he had met online. his attorney told the judge that all her boys are working judge. i was standing in between my attorney and my ex's attorney. the ex was not there. i could of punched his teeth out.

Also, I think that Maria Shivers aides should be contacted about canceling kate gosselin. Maria's mother Eunice Shriver is in the hospital in critical condition and she does not need the drama of kate can do all and does everything for her children
gosselin.
also, there is a picture of some of the kids talking to a "P" person at the gate. he is bent down and talking to one of the tup girls. they all have smiles on their faces. it was refreshing to see smiles on their faces. it is rare. you don't even see them with kate or jon or the non sitter whatever person.
God bless that "P" man for putting some sunshine in their life.

my 18 yr. old had a part time job and was in college FULL TIME.
my 16 yr. old was playing 3 sports and could not hold a job to support his mother and brothers.
my 15 yr old was playing sports and has to have a permit to work or have to be 16.
we survived on 164 a month till i got my SSI. he paid about 4 months child support and quit. he is tens of thousands of dollars in debt with child support.

Ang said...

Thank you for posting this.

It's so much more than just 'entertainment' and 'what's the harm?'

The 'harm' may not unravel until years, perhaps decades down the road. Will all those hanging on every word Lady Gosselin utters today even care what befell their little 'entertainment machines' then?


All those promoting, contributing, sponsoring and enjoying this form of 'entertainment' will be just as guilty when that day comes as they are today of exploiting these children.


Unfortunately, only 8 kids will be left to deal with the fallout alone.

Wonder if the teeth whitening, tummy tuck, hair plugs, trips and fancy houses, cars and clothes will have been worth it to the parents? My gut tells me absolutely, without regret.

TUNDRA said...

Paul Peterson rocks! Thanks to GWOP for sharing his thoughts and opinion.

Maggie said...

Pamela Jaye, you are correct and I made the change, thank you.

Mother of Two(coudn't afford more...) said...

Let's send letters and e-mails to Maria Shriver about the necessity to cancel Kate's appearance. Maria's husband Arnold has recently admitted he was wrong about driving a Hummer all those years, he now recognizes it's a gas guzzler. Maria needs to similarly retract her support for Kate. Maria made an impulsive and wrong decision in chosing Kate, she just needs to own up to it.

Anne said...

Wonderful, wonderful piece. Thanks for posting it.

Denise said...

Maria Shriver's mother is near death. I imagine she has other things on her mind.

just wondering said...

I need the address and names of people to contact in PA.

NoUse4Kate said...

That was interesting to read, thanks for posting it. I have been contacting advertisers here and there and I have really quit purchasing their items. I know I am a drop in their big bucket, but maybe enough drops will fall in to fill the bucket and they will dump J&K. Count me in on writing the state of PA. I will try to google their information later tonight.

No Name said...

Years down the road we'll see exactly what the damage is. The tups are going to think most of this was their fault--the early money problems led to the "need" for the show, the divorce etc...

Many people have a large family that's hard to support. It doesn't mean you exploit your kids for financial gain. There is NO EXCUSE for what Jon & Kate have done.

I wonder how will the kids be accepted in school this fall? SAD SAD SAD!

fidosmommy said...

No Name said....

Years down the road we'll see exactly what the damage is. The tups are going to think most of this was their fault--the early money problems led to the "need" for the show, the divorce etc...

I agree. How could they NOT think everything was their fault? If they hadn't been born, there would be no financial troubles for Jon and Kate. They got a show to make money. The show was about them - the sextuplets - as a group. Money became plentiful, but there was not enough love to go around because there were too many children to love. There were not too many children to love when it was just Mady and Cara.

Children think like this as they grow older. Even if it's wrong, they can still think this when the family falls apart.

How could they NOT think they are the reason for this? It's all right there on videotape. Once we came, things started to get hard for everyone.

NeverLikedKate said...

I would encourage any and all, whether you live in California or not, to send an email in protest of Kate's appearance at the California Women's Conference.

A basic email address is:

info@californiawomen.org

Thank you.

season 5? said...

Paul Peterson suggested...

"Perhaps you and your pen pals in the blogosphere of "GWOP" might consider formally writing to the department just mentioned and insist that they pursue their investigation into the totality of production for the past five years. You have watched this show closely and can provide specific examples of your fears."

That sounds like a good idea. I've written, but will write PA Dept of Labor again, with a list of obvious violations.

Becky Q in PA said...

Here are the list of contacts:
PA Dept of Labor
Child Labor Law Complaints investigated by:
Harrisburg District Office
1302-A Labor & Industry Bldg
Seventh & Forster Streets
Harrisburg, PA 17121
Telephone: (717) 705-5969

Troy Thompson at PA DoL:(quoted as saying ""We're not saying that there was or was not a violation, just that we're conducting an investigation.") (717) 787-7530

E-mail for questions regarding PA child labor law: rkuzynski@state.pa.us

Because they've worked/will work in New York:
New York Division of Labor Standards (Statewide contact info re: Child Performers)
Worker Protection Central Processing Unit
State Campus, Bldg 12, Room 288
Albany, NY 12240
Tel. (518) 457-1942

Willow #1 said...

Yea! Paul Peterson. Such a class act. Also--I have mentioned this before, but I will mention it again - Maria Shriver is probably Oprah's second best friend (after Gayle King). You know she won't go against anything Oprah has a stake in. I like Maria a lot better than Oprah and I hope her mom recovers.

Im_in_PR said...

Thanks Mr. Petersen. God bless you for trying so hard to protect children from the very people who SHOULD be protecting them.

As an aside, I'm in PR and wanted to post a few tips and things I've learned.

Sending emails to Maria Shriver while making us feel better, isn't going to change the outcome of Kate "speaking" at Shrivers event.

Maria is insulated from public opinion by the facts that 1. Her position is not an elected position. 2. She is not standing to lose any money in this deal.

The only people that can be persuaded to change their plans in a situation like this are people running for election or people selling something.

And sometimes, the people selling something just go right ahead and have the person of questionable morals like Kate speak because, as the old saying goes, any publicity is good publicity.

However, if it is something that can directly start affecting their sales and bottom line, they might re-think it.

Willow #1 said...

Mr. Peterson: I am going to take your comments to heart and contact the appropriate places. Thanks for the suggestions!

rockypriscilla said...

lukebandit said,
also, there is a picture of some of the kids talking to a "P" person at the gate. he is bent down and talking to one of the tup girls. they all have smiles on their faces. it was refreshing to see smiles on their faces. it is rare. you don't even see them with kate or jon or the non sitter whatever person.
God bless that "P" man for putting some sunshine in their life.
`````````````````````````````````
The only problem with that is that here is another adult out to exploit these 8 kids. He's there to take their pictures for mass production, all for money. He may have enjoyed talking to the Gosselin kids, they are adorable, but that doesn't mean that he wont sell whatever they said to him and any pictures taken to the highest bidder.

He Got Involved; He Gets It Done said...

Paul Petersen, if you ever read this, thank you for your commitment and passion for what is right when it comes to kids. You have done and are doing really good work. Thank you for not staying quiet all these years about exploitation of children when it comes to their rights for privacy and compensation if they're being photographed and/or filmed. It's a shame you've had to become the "parent" when their own parents are worthless. Thank you for being a tireless champion and crusader for the young ones. It can't be easy and I'm sure you suffer a lot of stress in the process of setting the wrongs RIGHT. Thank you. If I said thank you 1000 times it wouldn't be enough.