Editor’s note: On the date of this article’s publication, it is 8 Days until Vladek Filler completes his 21 days in the jail of Bar Harbor prosecutors Carletta Bassano and Mary Kellett.
For many years I’ve been regularly going online at Men’s Rights Advocacy sites and other websites where for safety reasons I write using the pseudonym ‘Skeptic’. I’ve done this out of fear of once again being made to endure the slow death by a million cuts which I experienced during the 80’s, 90s and millennial years.
There’s a back-story as to what that means, and how and why I became a Men’s Rights Activist. No doubt many who read it will relate strongly to events in that story and may even be emboldened to come out as Men’s Rights Activists. I certainly hope so.
This is likely to be quite a long read as there’s much to tell and being both part Romano and a teacher for several decades I tend to be verbose, especially when nervous as I am now. So grab your favorite imbibement and settle back to read a horror story which ends on a final note of human survival and inspired hope.
I was born in the UK, a place I escaped from at the height of the cold war as an unofficial political refugee. Looking backwards with my graying temples I see I was a very naïve and vulnerable young man. Although I’d escaped as far away as possibly from what seemed then like the possible nuclear war epicenter of Europe to New Zealand, I had very little knowledge of my new home and adjusting was very difficult. The fact that folks there spoke English and were English culturally in many ways was some comfort. Even so I suffered immense homesickness, but had some satisfaction in knowing my UK passport had allowed me by to be at the opposite end of the planet from a grim 1980s UK; A place which then had 10%+ unemployment, a nuclear standoff with the USSR, the worst winter in over a century, power blackouts, race riots and the stirrings of a hate movement I have since come to know and loath – feminism.
Ah! The hopeful heart of a recent emigre!
I’d managed to escape by making one of the worst decisions I’ve ever made in my life – to propose to and depart from the UK with the woman I married a few months after arrival in New Zealand. Her immediate family were already settled in New Zealand having emigrated themselves from the UK some years previously. I’d hung onto her skirt tails and hopped the fence on a 747 to Auckland with a tiny bit of cash and a desperate keenness to find work, any work, in order to build a future. I realize now I had jumped out of the frying pan and into a terrible fire of sorts.
Fast forward a few years in New Zealand and I was still married – and going bat-shit crazy. We had by then a beautiful toddler son who I’d helped birth and doted upon. During his earliest years I job-shared with my ex-wife. We managed a home for disabled folks which meant we took alternate days on the job whilst the other spouse looked after our son. At that time, mid 1980s, that was very unusual as the vast majority of Dads went out to work full time and only saw their kids on evenings and weekends. I developed a very strong bond to my son starting from day one when he came out of my ex-wife’s body and into my hands. We were inseparable, or so I thought. But I’m getting ahead of myself here, so back to those dreadful days.
During my time in that job I’d done workshops at the local community college – men’s groups which helped me open up to the fact of my growing sense of ennui. The job, although spiritually and financially quite rewarding, and by then with a few local college certificates in the likes of communication skills and Grief and loss counseling etc behind me, was going nowhere. No upward mobility which my ex-wife harped on about incessantly there. I realized I needed to step out of it and train further. I made the decision that I’d like us to give up our shared job, to go to university to get a Psychology degree, and then re-launch vocationally. The timing meant a self-imposed 6 month layoff without an income until the new University year started followed by 3 years full time study with only a small student allowance income.
It would be a big squeeze financially, but with some savings was possible. Although she wouldn’t admit it up front, her demeanor told me that went down like a cup of cold sick with my ex-wife. Still, there seemed no option but to press ahead and I rationalized that she’d enjoy the more relaxed lifestyle.
By then I was also starting to get small glimpses of the fact that despite freeing myself from grinding job ennui I still had an enormous mountain to climb. For I was still terribly, terribly stuck, by then mired in a quite loveless marriage with a wife who was starting to show increasingly signs of being physically, verbally and emotionally abusive if she didn’t get her own way – me staying in harness. First came the shocking threat of divorce issued in front of my best friend. Then the arguments over my ‘failure’ as a man to be the breadwinner; the emotional and sexual cold shoulder and the picking of fights over trivial issues like finding a parking space whilst out shopping.
These were matters I tried my best to stand up to assertively, but even so I bewildered and accruing hurt after hurt in the process. Then shortly afterwards I recall she telephoned her father telling him god knows what false accusations. For next thing I knew he was white knighting in front of me on our doorstep having driven 200 long and twisting enraged miles from Wellington to be there, then pushing me into the house – punching me, kicking me, screaming at me incoherently as I somehow frantically fled and escaped out of one of the house windows and away across the surrounding lawns bewildered afraid and in tears.
After that I was still chafing at the bit to move forward vocationally, and unknowingly going slowly insane, but was desperately hanging onto our marriage out of a sense of loyalty and fear of the unknown. I see I was still very blindly stuck in a chivalrous script of ‘manning up’ to save the marriage. So I managed to persuade my ex to move to the countryside, a half an hour drive from a university at which I could enroll. The idea was for us to rejuvenate and refocus. Fresh air, a family vegetable plot, flower beds around the farm cottage we’d rented. I rationalized to myself ………. it could be the answer. It seemed like a good idea at the time……. as I said I was slowly going insane.
Then as you might have already guessed the shit really hit the fan – again, only this time much worse. My ex-wife went full bore bat shit crazy and life became a daily nightmare of being subjected to her tyrannical bouts of abuse which I see in hindsight amounted to her viciously saying “You’re a fucking useless loser”. In essence all she was saying – you should tow the line, man up, and take care of ME, ME, ME!”.
Looking back I see I was just a success object, simply an appliance, not a human being in her eyes. The assaults escalated to the point of having a kitchen knife thrown at me. I still remember (with tears now welling up in my eyes) that knife quivering beside me, the blade deeply embedded in the floorboard not 2 inches from my foot, and somehow miraculously not in my body as had been intended.
On other occasions at that time I was attacked while driving the family car with our son strapped in his kiddy seat behind us. From beside me on the wide couch-like front seat her fists, an elbow and her boot rained down on my head as large delivery and logging trucks came past us in the opposite direction. I still don’t know to this day how I managed to control the car and avoid a head on collision with oncoming traffic.
During that period scalding hot coffee was also thrown at me in the kitchen, cups, plates and torrents of verbal abuse likewise hurled in my direction. As I said, a daily nightmare. My minimal and futile attempts at self-defense were absurdly painted as abuse by her and thrown back in my face as excuses for her to go on yet another rampage. Hell.
Somehow amidst all this mayhem I frantically managed to ask for and get from her a ‘cool off’ period. It was hastily arranged. She went away for a few days to stay with family in Napier, only to come back sadistically taunting me with news that while away she’d slept with some other guy. Of course she excused herself by saying it was because I was an inadequate lover and she was ‘lonely’ out in the countryside. Never mind that it was difficult to emotionally connect with and feel aroused in the presence of a woman who might kill me at any moment. Reduced by such abuse, and caving in, I agreed to move our family into a nearby city where services were more plentiful, the university was closer, and I thought this would ease her stress/loneliness and we could re-bond as a family.
How very little did I know.
Despite moving into a leafy suburb with kindergarten and other services nearby for her to take advantage of, the daily attacks continued and grew more intense. I was by now so depressed that I was numb and literally inert most days. New Zealand, having no men’s shelter, I finally took hold of what remained of myself and sought refuge in the only place I could think of that dealt with what I had some inkling I was experiencing – psychological shattering. I signed in as a voluntary patient at a nearby psychiatric asylum.
Very remote, peacefully set in rolling countryside, it was a refuge of sorts, where for two weeks I remained firmly staunch, not telling anyone my ordeal in group therapy sessions such was my intense sense of failure and shame, and fear that they wouldn’t believe me in any case. As a volunteer patient I wasn’t diagnosed, yet I can say with absolute certainty I was by then emotionally very damaged, eating and sleeping poorly, quite depressed and anxious. My ex-wife had done a great job on me emotionally.
Upon returning to the family home the assaults on me continued, but even worse was yet to come. Then my ex-wife started assaulting our son. That was more than I could bear. The day that started I took my son and fled. With nowhere else to go I crashed for a few days on a friend’s living room floor. I sought help from the local family court and was directed to a lawyer. I’d never seen a lawyer in my entire life prior to that, but with a hopelessly naive general impression of lawyers and courts gained through the media, I expected my son and I would be helped. I met a lawyer. I didn’t know it then, but she was a hard-nosed feminist.
I’ll never forget sitting in front of her with fresh red swollen claw marks etched diagonally across my face from eyebrow to jaw from the latest beating at the hands of my ex-wife. Our son, then barely 5 years old sat in my lap, my arms protectively around him. The very first thing she said to me was “What did you do to deserve that?” in a sarcastic tone which clearly implied I’d received some kind of just punishment! Our client –‘professional’ relationship didn’t work out. Surprise, surprise.
Then the inevitable false accusations from my ex were filed in the ‘family’ ‘court’. Each time the ‘family court’ took an eternity to hold ‘counseling sessions’ and finally a ‘hearing’ with a ‘judge’ for us to try reaching settlements regarding property and visitation. Visitation itself was a joke with my son’s access to me on countless occasions easily sabotaged with absolute impunity on the flimsiest of excuses by my ex-wife. The only recourse to which was going to a ‘family court counseling session’ with my ex-wife to address the issue of parental alienation – after at least a 6 week long heart rendering waiting period.
Desperately attempting to get access to my son in the face of horrific false allegations, I even agreed to supervised access to prove the allegations were unfounded. It was a most painful humiliating experience where for one short hour a feminist ‘social psychologist’ with a cold stern face and a clipboard in full public view watched my son and I play in a playground scoring points on her checklist for how much we were in her view ‘bonded’. You can easily guess her recommendations to the ‘family court’ I’m sure.
Excuse me, I’m taking a moment to breathe deeply before recounting more……………..
Needless to say the feminist system had done its job as it had to countless other good fathers I later came to know. I’d been totally asset stripped via the ‘court’ to the point of having to sleep on a mate’s garage floor for 3 weeks whilst getting food from a foodbank and scraping together the financial bond for another apartment. Meanwhile my ex was living in a large lakeside villa with her new man, swanning around the luxury home in chiffon, sipping chardonnay, and going off to Fiji for annual holidays. All during this time of course my son was being so thoroughly indoctrinated to hate me by my ex and the apparent zenith of ‘All males are patriarchal oppressors’ cultural zeitgeist of the time.
Inevitably, like so many other children of that time he eventually chose to avoid me altogether. New Zealand, despite its small population has hundreds of thousands of children who have NO contact whatsoever with their fathers.
I saw my son in person at about age 10; 5 years of despairing sporadic sabotaged scraps of visitation after his mom and I had separated. I know very well what the parental alienation so many good fathers speak of means now. It is etched on my heart forever. Years of subdued rage and living a double life ensued – by day with my degree having been attained in Social Sciences – a professional healer; By night – submerged in the shadows of despair – keeping the lid as best I could on my near suicidal self by self-medicating on cheap wine and cannabis.
During this time I’d managed to get a series of jobs in the group counseling field. Incidentally I could write an entire book about the disgusting gender feminist manipulations and weird characters I encountered getting the Social Sciences degree and in the subsequent social work I did for about 15 years thereafter in New Zealand. But that’s for another time.
Vainly I rationalized that if only my son saw the great people work I was doing with drug addicts, sex offenders, domestic batterers and other violent offenders, criminals in general and mentally ill folks, then he’d see what a really great guy I was……. and surely he’d come looking for me. All to no avail……how terribly, stupidly, pitifully, pathetically, naively I fooled myself.
I finally gave up on the idea of my son returning to me, and decided to get out of the psychic sewerage work I was doing and retrain again, this time for something healthier. I then put myself through one more dangerous bout of sliding past feminist academia, got my Teaching Diploma, then ASAP escaped a New Zealand still mired in feminist Duluth model dogma and underhand misandric whispering campaigns to go teaching overseas. I’ve been away from New Zealand ever since. That’s twice now I’ve become a political refugee.
During my time in self-imposed exile I then subsequently discovered Angry Harry, the earlier version of Men’s News Daily, The Spearhead, A Voice for Men and a growing number of other MRA websites. Through exposure to such male affirmative, or as we say red pill culture I gradually healed and felt more and more validated, understood, inspired, enlightened and emboldened.
So there it is.
My name is Skeptic.
I am a human being.
I am a Men’s Rights Activist.
I am a loving father.
I am a survivor of spousal abuse, parental alienation and feminism.
I am an English New Zealander.
I am a political refugee taking asylum away from new Zealand and other Western feminist nations.
I am a teacher and doting elder to hundreds of children.
I will return to New Zealand/Aotea Roa someday.
I will be providing a link between a Voice for Men’s growing international MRA collective and the small but passionate New Zealand Men’s Rights Movement.
I will be exposing prominent New Zealand gender feminists and their white knight enablers whenever I can to an international audience through a Voice for Men.
I will also continue to expose them where you can see postings which show Men’s struggle in New Zealand for the last couple of decades and meet some fine fellow MRAs at – http://menz.org.nz/
Ka mate te kainga tahi, ka ora te kainga rua. Kia kaha tatou!
When one house dies, a second lives. Let us stand together strong!