Headline News Responds About “Predator Test” Special

Hi Readers — This just in from Anna Gonzalez, a social media producer for Headline News, the channel running a special, “Would Your Kids Pass the Predator Test?” I commented on it yesterday, saying specials like these only reinforce the idea that predators are everywhere. Anna’s note:

Thanks for the blog about the segment. I think something that Kyra Phillips said can help provide some insight into the special Friday: “As a mom, my child’s safety is my number one concern. And my greatest fear is abduction. So not only do I take this special personally, I think every family will learn from it and it will create a really healthy discussion at home.”

That’s what drove us to do the special. We want specific, helpful advise to have these uncomfortable discussions and real techniques for your kids.

Hopefully y’all will think we delivered on that promise. Let us know your take as you watch on facebook.com/raisingamericahln or #raisingamerica on twitter. The whole team keeps an eye on our social accounts, so your comments will be read by someone.

I responded: Thanks for the note! As for your host’s motivation, it’s sort of a vicious circle: Her #1 fear is of a thing that has a really infinitesimal chance of happening. But then there’s a big special about it on TV — not the first or the last — and that reinforces the idea that it should dominate our thoughts/fears about our kids.


I’d be curious if Kyra ever drives the car with her children in it. That is the #1 way kids die in America, but we are able to keep the odds in perspective and realize they are small enough that this is an acceptable “risk” to take. Because it is. But so is letting your child play in the park, even unsupervised, by a certain age — like 7 or 8.
If we kept seeing specials about the kids killed in car accidents, our perspective could well change.  – L
And then I clicked on a preview from the special:

Forget the ominous drumbeat. What’s really over the top is acting as if a gaggle of five kids together is in danger. As another commenter here once put it: The last time a group of kids got abducted together, the perp was the Pied Piper.

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58 Responses to Headline News Responds About “Predator Test” Special

  1. RJ August 1, 2013 at 1:50 pm #

    Actually a group of children playing together were approached by a predator and what happened after that was scary and horrifying but somehow amazing. Those kids did something incredible.

  2. Eileen August 1, 2013 at 1:52 pm #

    Not to be snarky to the Kyra Phillips, but if her #1 fear is abduction, just wait until she’s got 2 teen drivers! Talk about fear (and MUCH more justified)!

    And even in dealing with that…I’ve just had to accept that there’s risk. We’ve set excellent driving examples to our kids and had consequences to their mistakes. Unless I’m going to forbid them to drive (or even ride with other teens), it’s just something I’ve got to accept…and move on.

  3. Kathryn August 1, 2013 at 1:57 pm #

    The ad that led into this video was for “Paranoid.” LOL!

  4. Katie August 1, 2013 at 2:13 pm #

    Well below is my response to Anna and as I mentioned ironically while I don’t fear abduction I do fear my kid being brainwashed by the corporate controlled media.

    Also speaking of stuff in the media I saw an interesting piece of the BBC about child sacrifice in Incan culture. So if back in those days parents in the America’s were sacrificing their own children, I’m thinking this is a pretty safe time to be a child relative to many times in the history of the world. One other message I took from it, was that community used to be more important than the safety of an individual. Now don’t get me wrong we don’t want to go back to the days of Incan sacrifice, but I think it’s an interesting contrast to the “me me me, my child, my child, my child” ways of today.

    I digress though anyway back to my response for Anna:
    “Well how about this for a story: a story about how stranger abductions are extremely rare. A story about the negative health impacts of parents driving around kids to bus stops or to a nearby school in giant gas guzzlers t instead of encouraging the kids to walk or cycle. A story about the loss of free time so many kids are experiencing, not to mention the loss of exercise they are getting from going outside to play and the stress this over scheduling causes both the kids and the parents. Or if you want something more scandalous look at some of the stories on the side bar about ridiculous cases where CPS got involved.

    Oh and I don’t fear abduction, I do though fear my kid will grow up to be brainwashed by the corporate controlled media”.

  5. vjhr August 1, 2013 at 2:24 pm #

    Here’s a thought to snap people back to reality: I have two kids, ages 6 and 11. We are members of school groups, church groups, scout groups, neighborhood groups, etc. We know and have known a lot of kids. Yet we have NEVER known a single family that had a child abducted. Car accidents? Yes. Cancer? Yes. But no abductions of any kind.

  6. Katie August 1, 2013 at 2:42 pm #

    One other thought, I wonder if the number of child abductions shown on scripted tv shows and movies out weighs the number of actual abductions that occur in the US each year?

    vjhr’s comment made in think of this as I too don’t know anyone who actually had an abduction experience even back in the day when things were more free range and kids walked to school and went out and played, rather than be shuttled around in giant tanks as if they are constantly in danger from the world and imaginary predators.

  7. Ravana August 1, 2013 at 2:45 pm #

    First off, I pity the poor woman who worries about her child being abducted “every second of the day.” Her stress levels must be off the charts.

    Secondly, what I love is that their stranger “looks like ‘A nice guy that takes care of dogs.'” I am the stranger with the dog. I can’t walk anywhere without children running up to me wanting to pet my dog. I’ve had them follow me (unencouraged) down wooded trails, to lakes, to parking lots. I’ve learned way more information about their families than their parents would EVER want made public. Often I have to shoo them home. Funny thing is I’ve never abducted a single child or even considered it. I HAVE taught them about dog bite prevention. I’ve talked to them about privacy and the things they shouldn’t be telling strangers like me. I’ve stopped them from stepping in front of cars. I’ve walked their bikes home after they have wiped out. I’ve gone out and gotten them off of rotten ice. I even rescued a kid who was hung up by his foot on a piece of playground equipment. I am such a danger…

  8. SKL August 1, 2013 at 2:46 pm #

    Well, here’s my reaction off the top of my head:

    1) They were with a group of kids – safety in numbers.
    2) They were in broad daylight with parents all around who would notice if some kid was in distress.
    3) They approached the car, they didn’t get inside (as far as I could tell)
    4) They trusted their gut that this guy was not a predator AND HE WAS NOT, so their gut reaction was correct, BUT:

    5) They were then told that they were wrong to trust their gut about who is and isn’t dangerous!

    In my opinion, the worst thing you can do as far as safeguarding your kid is to teach her that her gut feeling about a person is invalid.

    Oh, and I loved the lead-in: every parent worries every second of every day about abduction. Guess what, folks? I am sitting here at my computer NOT worrying about abduction! The thought of abduction hardly ever crosses my mind, in fact.

    Anything to up the ratings, right?

  9. Eileen August 1, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    great point vjhr. A friend of mine used to joke that there isn’t a HS kid that gets out of HS with out a car accident (usually minor thankfully) or a ticket…..and sometimes both. We have 5 boys between us and only 1 got thru unscathed. But abductions….none.

  10. SKL August 1, 2013 at 2:59 pm #

    Speaking of abduction, I watched the sentencing hearing of Ariel Castro today. (Obviously I need my head examined.) Three women (then adolescents) trusted this guy and got into his car. I love hearing the victims give their thoughts, because they never say “keep your kids away from people, don’t trust anyone.” They express positive feelings about communities. Miss Knight said today, through tears, that she believes there is more good than bad in the world. All three are begging people to NOT talk about this, because dwelling on it will do no good and much harm.

    Also, the judge told Castro that the girls had a right to trust that people would not trick them. To me that was significant.

  11. Merrick August 1, 2013 at 3:11 pm #

    When someone who is afraid of abduction brings up some kid an abduction victim by name, I ask them to name a child who was killed in a car accident the same year. They can’t … then I point out that 1300-1500 kids were killed in a car accident the same year that less than 50 were killed in Stranger Abductions.

    You don’t know their names because it’s common, if you know their names – it’s rare, really, really rare.

    Data on car accidents and children-

  12. Warren August 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm #

    A flawed experiment yeilding flawed results. Good for ratings and nothing more.

  13. hineata August 1, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    My current number one fear regarding my kids is that they will be at home on the sofa in their twenties playing Xbox. Oh, and with the earthquakes currently, that they’ll leave their (tiny) emergency kits at home.

    Stranger abduction, never crossed my mind :-). The chances are higher than average at the moment here that we might all have to rely on ‘strangers’ shortly, so better kids are out and about in the community attuning their ‘creep’ monitors than being stuck indoors worried about trusting people.

  14. SKL August 1, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

    Maybe Lenore should do a post about what IS the greatest fear of free-range parents. Hmmm.

    I won’t say “worry,” but I am not sure my kids will:

    Learn to plan and cook a meal, before they are old enough to be home alone;
    Learn how to take care of a baby, before they have their own;
    Learn to manage their time, before they start getting a lot of homework;
    Learn to think / problem-solve (at an adult level), before they need to hold meaningful employment;
    Be able to say “no” whenever they know “no” is the right answer;
    Know how to build, use, and put out a fire;
    Know how to tell they’re being scammed;
    Know how to manage personal finances;
    Know how to find their way without a GPS;
    Know what to do if they find themselves alone in a foreign country; . . . .

    That’s what comes to mind offhand.

    We’re working on it . . . .

  15. Amber August 1, 2013 at 4:48 pm #

    My mom tried to tell me about how surprising and scary this segment was going to be a few weeks ago – she must have seen a preview or something. I immediately argued with her that the kids all went together? And they trusted their instincts in regards to a man who really wasn’t dangerous? Then I’m really not that worried about it. Now if I can convince her of the dangers of watching morning ‘news’ shows…

  16. Warren August 1, 2013 at 5:41 pm #

    This experiment only generated one fear, for me. That my kids would come back, “Look Dad, the nice man gave us this puppy.”

    3 dogs is enough.

  17. Donna August 1, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    The things that gets me about this program is that it teaches kids not to trust their gut. They thought he was a nice guy and he was a nice guy. They were then told they were wrong to talk to him.

    These same parents probably also make their kids give Uncle Joe and grandpa a hug when they come to visit too, although Uncle Joe and grandpa are far more likely to be a threat than a strange puppy owner in the park.

    So they give their children no autonomy over their bodies and then tell the to ignore their gut. Sounds like a great plan.

  18. Jenny August 1, 2013 at 8:31 pm #

    So I sat down to watch this with my 10 year old, told him it was about kids getting abducted – he said “by aliens ?”.

  19. JJ August 1, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    “As a mom, my child’s safety is my number one concern”
    This sentence, a version of which seems to be ubiquitous among parents, always seems to me to be a set-up. If anything else concerns you more (your child’s education for instance or god forbid something selfish like keeping your job) then you obviously aren’t fit for parenthood. You just don’t live your kids like they do.

    I am going to say it. I care about my kids safety but I am more concerned about other things most of the time!!

  20. JJ August 1, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    @Merrick, good point. Kind of like how everyone my age anyway knows the name of a little girl who fell into a well. The fact that we all know about Jessica tells us something about how likely it is that our kid will fall iinto a well.

  21. QuicoT August 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    My number one fear is my child slipping on a bar of soap in the shower, banging her head against the floor and dying of internal hemorrage. I demand Headline News do a Special on THAT – incidentally, way more likely than her getting abducted!

    It’s good to keep the conversation with producers going, though: maybe you can lobby to have at least SOME voices of perspective/sanity in this garish Worstfirstathon they’re planning…

  22. Charla August 1, 2013 at 9:20 pm #

    The North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA) is a pedophile and pederasty advocacy organization in the United States that works to abolish age of consent laws criminalizing adult sexual involvement with minors,[2][3] and for the release of all men who have been jailed for sexual contacts with minors that did not involve coercion.[2][4]

  23. Warren August 1, 2013 at 9:52 pm #


    “Man/Boy”? Are you serious? Let me introduce you to an oraganization North American Fathers With Baseball Bats.

    Yes, I know, overthetop, judgemental, violent blah blah blah. There was not one word of that comment that did not turn my stomach.

  24. hineata August 1, 2013 at 10:38 pm #

    NAMBLA -oh, yuck, yuck, yuck! How did that even come up? Sort of a connection, I guess, but…. again, yuck! Stomach-turning.

    There is probably some kind of NZ equivalent, but I doubt that they advertise anywhere, softball bats, chainsaws, warratahs and bits of four by two being not in short supply here either….

  25. SKL August 1, 2013 at 11:09 pm #

    Yeah, I’m not sure how NAMBLA came up. Maybe it’s some sort of spam.

  26. J.T. Wenting August 1, 2013 at 11:50 pm #

    “One other thought, I wonder if the number of child abductions shown on scripted tv shows and movies out weighs the number of actual abductions that occur in the US each year? ”

    Almost certainly, even if you don’t take the reruns into account…

    As to groups of kids being a sign of a child abductor being active, that’s just another sign of the egocentric, paranoid, society we’re living in.
    Thought process is probably centered around those kids (brainwashed victims…) being used to lure other kids to the predator.
    After all, no kids would ever be outside without their parents, let alone in a group, right? So it MUST be a sign of something bad…

  27. SP August 2, 2013 at 6:44 am #

    Search the Tampa Bay Times site for “Safety Harbor Park”. Apparently two kids reported a man was watching them and talking about kidnapping them. My immediate thought was that two kids were looking for attention. My son’s camp was supposed to go to that park today. Now they are going to a different park. Despite the fact that three adults will be with a group of 9 kids and they use the buddy system when going to the bathroom. And if there truly was a man, he’s probably moved to a different park due to the news coverage.

  28. Denny August 2, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    I think my biggest fear is that I’ll never be able to have kids/afford to have kids, or that something awful will happen to my kids, or that my kid(s) will be really sick. Abduction strikes me as so, so unlikely that I only think about it when Free Range Kids brings it up or it’s in the news. Yes, bad things happen, but I’m much more worried about dealing with a kid’s anxieties and mental issues and that sort of thing than about kidnappings.

  29. Kenny Felder August 2, 2013 at 7:44 am #

    Lenore, I wonder if you could get on the phone with Anna Gonzalez? Her response is boilerplate, but it’s possible that with a conversation you could actually get her to hear what you’re saying–including the very important point about the role the media can play in making the situation worse, or better.

  30. dan August 2, 2013 at 9:23 am #

    I would LOVE more discussions along these lines. I’m all for outrage against Overprotective Coddling American Culture. But one reason I began visiting this blog regularly was because I liked the message of Parenting without Panicking. And I’d “like” more items on how to be a better parent of a free range kid.

  31. Warren August 2, 2013 at 9:29 am #

    I have been looking at this all wrong. The experiment was not flawed, and neither were the results.

    The experiment was carefully designed to generate the exact results the show desired.

    Something bugged me all night about the show. This morning one of my techs pointed it out. And yes it was a headslap worthy moment.

    There was 2 predators. Two men working together to get the kids to follow. My guy used Criminal Minds as his reference, but it is true enough. We go from a rare stranger abduction scenario, to an even rarer scenario of 2 predators working together.

    Multiple adults, group of kids, mom in the playground, lots of people around, busy parking lot, multiple dogs, and the predatorS are not real predators………..there is not one thing in this whole test that will trigger a kid’s instinct.

    Rigged for ratings, and HLN and CNN should be ashamed, and whatever governing body there is in the US should look into their methods.

  32. J.T. Wenting August 2, 2013 at 9:53 am #

    you mean a news agency creating news rather than reporting it?
    Say it ain’t so, except it’s been happening quite openly for decades and they’re actually proud of doing it.

    The only governing body related to such things are the “ethics committees” of the networks themselves, meaning the very people who’re putting crap like this on air in the first place.

  33. Isabelle August 2, 2013 at 10:33 am #

    Statistics from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children: http://www.missingkids.com/KeyFacts

    – Approximately 800,000 children younger than 18 were reported missing
    – An estimated 115 children were the victims of “stereotypical” kidnapping. These “stereotypical” kidnappings involved someone the child did not know or was an acquaintance. The child was held overnight, transported 50 miles or more, killed, ransomed or held with the intent to keep the child permanently.

    That equals: 0,0143%.

    Anna Gonzalez’s greatest fear may be abduction, but her kids are more likely to die in a car accident, get cancer, and the list goes on.

  34. pentamom August 2, 2013 at 10:50 am #

    “My current number one fear regarding my kids is that they will be at home on the sofa in their twenties playing Xbox.”

    I hear you. Not that my fear is exactly literally that, but my biggest fear is that they will not become people who are reasonably successful in all the ways that truly matter. And looking around, it’s quite obvious that that is a MUCH bigger possibility than the remote possibility that they will be snatched away by a guy with a puppy in a public place in broad daylight while surrounded by friends. And it’s also a much bigger possibility for Anna Gonzalez’s kids, and sadly, she’s grossly misdirecting her energies.

  35. Puzzled August 2, 2013 at 11:22 am #

    I have a question. I certainly wouldn’t want my kids walking off with strangers – but should I really teach them not to go off with strangers to see a dog when I’m sitting right there watching? If I had a problem with it, I’d walk up and go with them. I’d rather teach them they can’t go off with strangers when I’m not there (while they’re young, of course, when they get older it would be don’t go off with strangers if the situation is odd, etc.)

  36. Ellie August 2, 2013 at 11:37 am #

    I knew a mother when my kids were growing up who fit into that category of moms who worried “every second of the day about abduction.” (What the what?) From the way she talked, and the way she overprotected her kids, you’d think children were being kidnapped dozens of times a week in broad daylight in front of people all over America. She was horrified and thought I was crazy (and a bad mother) when I started letting my daughter take a NYC bus by herself at 10 to get to music lessons and to visit friends because “somebody could take her”—whereas I thought my child was safer on a city bus with other adults and a bus driver than in somebody’s car being chauffeured around by sometimes questionable drivers who would overload their cars with kids to the point that not all of them had seat belts–that was a good idea???

    I always tried to teach my kids, as you’ve mentioned, it’s not talking to people that’s bad. It’s not even going somewhere—it’s going somewhere without telling me what you’re doing and where you are.

    I liked the commenter who noted that the kids felt comfortable with the situation because they were in a group, their parents were nearby, and the likelihood a man would abduct a crowd of kids in front of a busy playground and parking lot was pretty much zero.

    That “predator test” was obviously rigged to scare people even more. If something like that was done to adults, it would be called a sting operation.

  37. Katie August 2, 2013 at 1:18 pm #

    @JT I think a lot of this stuff is in peoples head from tv and these made up fears actually become real to them.

    I remember riding on the subway and some of these teenage girls (sadly in today’s age with their champerons) were freaking out about riding on the subway because of some bizzare scenario that they had seen played out in some tv show or movie. Except this bizzare scenario I’m pretty sure has never has played out anywhere in any subway system in the world ever. Yet, they were afraid of it.

  38. Natalie August 2, 2013 at 1:49 pm #

    Isn’t NAMBLA kind of what you were saying about abolishing statutory rape laws? Is that what they mean by age of consent?

  39. Natalie August 2, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

    My number one fear? That my girls won’t have a close relationship when they’re older. They’re great now, but I’ve heard that siblings can start to grow apart in middle school and don’t get that closeness back, even in adulthood.

    To this end, I don’t intervene that much when they fight. If there’s too much screaming I tend to send them both to their room and don’t let them out until the work it out.

    If anyone has any suggestions in this area, I’d love to hear them.

  40. Papilio August 2, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    Regarding Nambla: of course they’re interested in Lenore. She has *reasonable* arguments to lower the age of consent and/or decriminalize sex with teens. These creeps want that too – for completely different reasons, and they probably want no age limit at all, but still. There is an overlap, so they like her.

  41. Uly August 2, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

    There’s nothing you can do about it, Natalie. Just because two people are siblings, it doesn’t mean that they necessarily have similar personalities, tastes, and opinions that mesh well with each other. You wouldn’t expect your kid to form a close bond with the neighbor just because they live next door, and although it hurts to say it, sometimes siblings just aren’t going to be close.

  42. SKL August 2, 2013 at 2:39 pm #

    Natalie, I feel you about the sisters. Mine are also great together, but the times they fight are times when they are being supervised. I can’t really explain it but as long as I leave them alone, they are best friends. When they get edgy I threaten a consequence for both of them, such as confiscating the thing they are fighting over. I tell them “your getting along as sisters is more important than [the lost item/privilege].”

    One area where I recently sense tension is when they are working on making friends, and some friend gravitates more toward one than toward the other. So sometimes the other feels marginalized. Then, sometimes the sisters stick up for each other, and sometimes they don’t. Usually I only hear about these things later. I give them my thoughts, but I think they need to figure these things out for themselves through experience.

  43. SKL August 2, 2013 at 2:43 pm #

    Natalie, NAMBLA goes beyond statutory rape laws. They would like it to be legal to have sex with an actual child (of the same sex) – what is now considered pedophilia. I understand this is a fringe of a fringe of a fringe, so I don’t understand why it was brought up here.

  44. Natalie August 2, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

    I did a quick wiki search. They give the LGBT rights movement a bad name. Ages 8 – 15 is what they’d like to be legal apparently.

  45. Natalie August 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm #

    I agree in that the more they work things out alone, the better.

    @ Uly
    I think it is something I can help/hinder. My parents strategy for dealing with me and my sister was always to separate. Rooms, toys, friends, we essentially stopped playing together. And middle school and high school was horrific. We’re making a concious effort to be closer now that we’re older, but it took a lot of time.
    My parents did their best. we fought a lot and caused them headaches aplenty. My theory is that if we were forced to reconcile, we wouldn’t have had the 10-15 years of not talking.

  46. Natalie August 2, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    How old are yours now?

  47. SKL August 2, 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    Natalie, my girls are six.

    I also have two sisters, two and thirteen years my junior. The youngest was always the darling of the family, so no problems there. But growing up, my closer sister and I fought a lot. I was pretty intolerant of what I considered her shortcomings. We played well a lot, too. In fact, we did a lot of what I see my kids doing. I recall venting to my granny and she would say we’d love each other when we grew up, just as it happened between her and her sister. I didn’t believe it then, but it turned out to be true. My sister and I are not “best friends,” but we like and love each other and we’re absolutely there for each other. Right now she nannies my kids one or two days a week. She needs the money and I am very glad for the connection between my kids and the person who knew me best growing up.

    My kids are not going to have a big family when they grow up. And they are 40 years my junior. I tell them that I pray for them to care for each other because some day, they are only going to have each other.

    Of course, there are no guarantees. But I think that seeing that you place importance on the relationship will make a difference. All of my siblings have a pretty good relationship even though we’ve had many differences over the years.

  48. SKL August 2, 2013 at 5:06 pm #

    Oh, Natalie, I meant to say that my sister and I slept in the same bed until we were 13. We were absolutely in each other’s face much of the time. I did not like it at the time, but it may have been why we learned to get along ultimately.

  49. Backroads August 2, 2013 at 7:13 pm #

    I’m developing an unprofessional theory: As mortals, we are subject to all sorts of danger (and I mean this in the most freerange way possible). So many things can kill us. I can’t mentally handle them all, I doubt anyone can. So we learn survival skills, many becoming so ingrained we don’t think about it. Aka, common sense.

    After that, I think we have our “pet fears”: We will pick a few dangers to worry more about whether or not they are worth the extra worry.

  50. Backroads August 2, 2013 at 7:33 pm #

    Whilst browsing on the subject, I came across this old article, don’t know if you ever saw it:


  51. Natalie August 2, 2013 at 7:56 pm #

    You had twins? At 40? (tipping hat) Sorry if I missed that, you may have mentioned it before.

    It’s funny, I have a third sister, 8 yrs younger, she never had problems with me or my middle sister. Must be a common dynamic as you’re family also had that.

    What you say is very encouraging. The girls ask to sleep in the same bed but since one is just shy of 3, she never let’s the 6 yr old sleep. Sometimes I push their beds together on the weekend. It’s nice to hear them giggling before bed. I hope they always do that.

  52. Donna August 2, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

    @Natalie – Definitely not what I meant. I am actually surprised that NAMBLA has a lower age.

    As for sisters, there just isn’t much you can do there. While they will always have a sibling connection, being friends will happen or it won’t based largely on personalities, lifestyles and interests. The more you try to push and engineer the kind of relationship that you want, the less likely it will be that it happens.

  53. Natalie August 2, 2013 at 9:13 pm #


    Yeah, kids tend to oppose things that are pushed at them. But I do believe that letting them work out their problems rather than interfering, is a way to allow them to develop their own conflict resolution skills, which will help them retain their bond in the future.

    I had never heard of NAMBLA before. The Wikipedia page was pretty interesting (charla copied from the intro). Allen Ginsberg was one of their more vocal defenders. The group had been infiltrated by the FBI, members were targeted when their names/addresses were published, they had a ring in the Boston area at one time, but were predominantly in San Francisco and NYC.

  54. SKL August 2, 2013 at 11:36 pm #

    Natalie, actually I adopted two kids who came home just after my 41st birthday. They are not biologically related. Their ages are 3 months apart.

  55. J.T. Wenting August 3, 2013 at 1:46 am #

    @Katie I know, that’s my point. Kids and adults are being conditioned to be mortally afraid of each other (yes, it’s mutual) for no reason whatsoever.

    Said it before, I can’t go and shop at the neighbourhood store here because it’s next to a school and as a single adult male I’m obviously a pedophile trying to abduct a child if I park my car next to a school. And yes, I’ve had such accusations slung at my head when doing just that, parking there and walk across the car park to the supermarket.
    Even been followed home and had my property vandalised as a result.

  56. Natalie August 3, 2013 at 8:02 am #

    @skl, that’s wonderful.
    Adoption is so complicated, especially when other countries are involved. All those parents hoping to adopt from Russia and now they can’t because Putin wants to have a pissing contest with Obama.
    I met a couple at my daycare that was trying both fertility treatments and adoption, both were expensive and taking a long time. Eventually they gave up on the fertility treatments, and she got pregnant a few months later. I don’t know if she’s still planning to adopt as we lost touch.

  57. SKL August 3, 2013 at 10:14 am #

    Natalie, any way you build your family is both wonderful and complicated. :)

  58. Natalie August 4, 2013 at 11:12 am #

    Yes it is, and you and your family are blessed. I’m so glad when I hear successful adoption stories.