My Story:  Maternal Alienation is the Ultimate Hate Crime

by Coral Anika Theill

 

 

I am one of the tens of thousands of mothers who lost all contact and custody of my children.
 

I went to Oregon's judicial system for help and was not prepared for the horrors I experienced within our legal system.  I found a system which treated me as deplorably as my former husband and his religious supporters.  I have extensive documentation, including affidavits, court transcripts, tapes and videos, medical and mental reports, and witnesses to substantiate and elaborate on this story.  I believe that when this case comes to light, someone will have to answer for the abuse and silent violence I have suffered in the Polk, Marion, and Wasco County courts.  Marital and ritual abuse evolved into legal abuse.

 

When I sought safety for my children and myself in January 1996, the Court allowed me to live in hiding with my young children prior to the court hearings, due to the testimony and affidavits of numerous witnesses.  I retained an attorney and reported the crimes that had been committed against my children and me.

 

On March 10, 1996, I was forced, by an Order of the Court, and by my ex-husband, Mr. Vaughn Martin Warner, his attorney, Mr. Mark Lawrence, his family and religious supporters, to do something that raged against my good conscience, my common sense and against all my motherly instincts. After a temporary custody hearing, a Court Order signed by Judge Albin Norblad forcibly removed my nursing baby and two youngest children from me. I obeyed the Court Order and gave my children over to my ex-husband. I drove to the hospital, rented a breast-pump and later collapsed and went into shock. I could not understand what had happened and why. I have not yet recovered from the shock; perhaps I never will....

 

The price for my own safety and freedom in 1996 was an imposed, unnatural and unwanted separation from my eight children. The injustice committed against me is not just the physical separation from my children, but the willful desecration of the mother-child relationship and bond, a sacred spiritual and emotional entity.

 

I was awarded visitation privileges every other weekend.  I was subjected to ongoing bullying, threats, physical violence, sexual assault, marital rape, kidnapping and coercive control by my husband before our divorce with the full knowledge of the Court and the attorneys who represented me.  I was subjected to further threats, bullying and coercive control after our divorce.   Often my ex-husband would not allow my children to see me on Court ordered visitation weekends.

 

In 1999, I legally changed my name and entered a state address protection program for safety from my ex-husband.  A federally funded program, to protect my safety, acknowledged I was a victim of extreme abuse, yet the Courts remanded my eight children to a known perpetrator, the children’s father.

 

 

"Our society is currently giving mothers a powerful and crazy-making mixed message. First, it says to mothers, “If your children’s father is violent or abusive to you or to your children, you should leave him in order to keep your children from being exposed to his behavior.” But then, if the mother does leave, the society many times appears to do an abrupt about-face, and say, “Now that you are spilt up from your abusive partner, you must expose your children to him. Only now you must send them alone with him, without you even being around anymore to keep an eye on whether they are okay.”

 

"What do we want? Do we want mothers to protect their children from abusers, or don’t we?" 

- Lundy Bancroft, Custody Justice

 

 

 

Court and Church Sanctioned Domestic Violence and Child Abuse

 

Family Court Case No:  Polk County Case No. 95P20693 and No. 95P-20689

Polk County Criminal Case No. 99-1141 – Marital Rape

Presiding Judge 1996   Judge John L. Collins                                                                                                                                                            

Presiding Judge 1996-1997 Judge Albin  Norblad                                                                                                                                                                       Presiding Judge 1998-1999  Judge Charles Luukinen                                                                                                                                                    

Presiding Judge 2003-2006    Judge Paula Brownhill

Presiding Judge 2017-2018 Judge Monte Campbell

Polk County Courthouse, Dallas, Oregon 

Oregon State of Appeals 2004-2005 - CA Case No. 124851 - V. Martin Warner vs. Coral Anika Theill

 

 

I have a personal story of marital abuse, mental and physical, condoned within many of the fundamental, evangelical Christian movements (cults) that thrive today. My story is also about injustice, the failings of the Oregon court system, and the stigma associated with depression and post-traumatic stress. What I experienced during my childhood, in my marriage, in the churches and the court system amounts to nothing less than hate crimes with a gender bias.

 

For nearly twenty years, I was married to a man who ruled his household with absolute authority. His personal justification for his behavior came from Biblical scripture. During the course of our marriage, I bore him eight children. My firstborn children were identical twin girls. I also suffered three miscarriages. I home schooled the oldest children for several years, renovated three houses, baked, canned, gardened, etc. I was treated as a possession (slave). In the course of my marriage I was drawn, against my will, into several extreme fundamental churches and cults which emphasized patriarchal authority and the obedience of women.  I was a nurturing and loving mother during the years of our marriage. My married life continued the pattern of my childhood.

 

In 1993, after surviving 16 years of multiple pregnancies, sleep deprivation, ritual, emotional, and mental abuse, coercive control, torture, rapes and physical assaults within my marriage, I suffered a physical/emotional breakdown, partial stroke and post-partum depression after the home birth of my seventh child.

 

During the period of my post-partum breakdown/depression in the spring of 1994, my husband, Mr. V. Martin Warner, and his pastors left me at the "Wing's of Love" half-way house on Killingsworth in Portland, Oregon, to punish and "break me" (their words) to the will of God. The house was a shelter for ex-cons, street people and prostitutes. It was filthy and infested with rats and lice. My husband’s debt-free estate, at this time, was over a quarter- of- a million dollars. It was a frightening experience during the period of my illness/breakdown for my “abuser” ex-husband, his Christian cult leaders and religious supporters to be in charge of my “recovery program.” Three months earlier, I had a D & C due to my 3rd miscarriage from being raped by my husband. I was helpless and physically and mentally incapacitated during this time due to my breakdown and partial stroke. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While in this near catatonic state, I was again physically assaulted and raped by my husband, causing my eighth pregnancy in October 1995, despite the warnings of my doctors. His brutal treatment pushed my health further to the edge. While completely broken down I was ridiculed, exorcised for demons, told I was a ‘witch’ and cursed by God by my husband, his friends and family, and ‘Christian’ cult leaders and counselors.

 

Despite all this, I was able to recover, birth my baby and cherish bonding and breastfeeding. After undergoing several tests and psychiatric evaluations, my physicians stated I was completely recovered.  In 1995, my OB/GYN physician, Dr. Charles D. South, Albany, Oregon, recommended I divorce my abusive husband.  I followed my trusted physician’s advice.

 

At this point, after experiencing forty years of violence and abuse in my personal life, I had had enough. I intuitively knew that continuing this way of life would eventually kill me. I went to Oregon's courts for help and protection for myself and my children.

 

Nothing had prepared me for the horrors that I would experience in what we call 'Oregon's justice and legal system.

 

At my temporary custody hearing, my attorney, Mr. David Gearing, in his opening statements to the Court, February 28, 1996, said, “Her, (Mrs. Kathy Warner), custody is being challenged now, willfully, intentionally, with full knowledge and with acknowledgment of her husband as to her qualities for 20 years. She has been fit, proper and capable of doing that for twenty years. And, now, we are calling into question her emotional stability and mental health and ability to raise these children. She has been given that role. It is a distraction. We have three doctors who are ready, willing and able to testify, on rebuttal, if necessary. They give her a clean bill of health.” (I had passed six psychiatric exams to prove my mental health and well-being for the court. My abusive ex-husband, V. Martin Warner, Independence, Oregon, failed his court ordered psychiatric exam).

 

The treatment I received in Oregon’s courts was more abuse and humiliation. Sexual crimes I endured as a child, my breakdown, my fertility and the ‘rapes’ by my husband all became subjects for ridicule in court. Oregon Circuit Court Judge Albin Norblad laughed when he heard I became pregnant when my husband raped me. My husband and the father of my children committed crimes against me, Coral Anika Theill, according to Oregon statutes and laws (Chapter 743, Oregon Laws 1971, 163.375), and was embraced and rewarded in our judicial and religious system.


 

My ex-husband, V. Martin Warner, also abused several women in the workplace, including Debbie Custis, at Hewlett-Packard.  She filed an affidavit in my 2003 court case detailing the years of abuse she suffered from my husband in the workplace.  Affidavits documenting the abuse I suffered in my marriage were presented in my court case.

 

A few months before I finally left my husband, I had gone on an extended trip (without Mr. Warner) with my younger children, and nursing infant to attend the funeral of Betsy Close's father.  I was sane and strong enough to make this trip, and encouraged by Mr. Warner to take the children and my nursing infant.  When I left the home seeking safety from my ex-husband a few months later, I was labeled mentally ill, psychotic, suicidal and emotionally unfit to be a mother and became a "criminal" to be hunted by the Sheriffs.

 

My initial custody order in Polk County, Oregon, was dated March 10, 1996. Even though Judge Albin Norblad stated during the three day court proceedings that my 6 month nursing infant and three and five year old daughters would remain in my care, he signed a Temporary Custody Order abruptly removing my youngest three children from me (including my nursing infant) on March 10, 1996.  My husband, V. Martin Warner, Independence, Oregon, was awarded custody of our eight minor children.

 

Forcibly taking a mother's children, and then controlling her emotionally by withholding contact must be publicly recognized as one of the greatest forms of 'mis-use' of the American justice system and one of the greatest hidden vehicles for wide-spread socially approved physical and emotional abuse and control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oregon Circuit Court judges ordered me, a disabled woman, to pay my wealthy abuser/rapist/kidnapper child support for twice of what I earned.  I eventually lived out of my car for three years due to the financial ruin of ongoing court hearings since the divorce.  I have not had an attorney since 1997 due to poverty.  Attorney and court fees exceeded $150,000 during the first year while I sought safety and a divorce.  "How I Became a Brood Mare & Egg Donor for the Church & State:  Judge Albin Norblad Laughs About Rape."

 

The court ordered visitation was a nightmare because my ex-husband refused to comply unless it fit with his own plans. He also used visitation as a means to abuse and control me. I would arrive to pick up the younger children at an agreed-upon time and he would refuse to let the children out of the house. I was not allowed to participate in the children's school activities, as was Court Ordered, because my former husband and the school principal said, "I was an enemy of the cross of Christ."

 

I eventually lost all contact with my eight children. Numerous Christian pastors, church members, Christian school teachers, and my own children and in-laws, have supported my abusive ex-husband, Mr. Vaughn Martin Warner, Independence, Oregon, personally and/or in the courtroom since 1995 – 2015, [approximately 45 court related hearings to date] condoning the crimes of domestic violence, kidnapping, rape, child abuse/molestation, and cult and ritual abuse.  They have assisted my ex-husband in brainwashing my children to hate me. 

 

I was counter sued by my husband for his legal fees of $3,311.27 for a case the District Attorney initiated, my visitation rights were removed, and my child support payments were doubled to $1,074.00 per month. I am at a loss, and it is difficult to continue to have faith in a legal system that is based on similar authoritarian and paternalistic models as my marriage.  

 

My ex-husband and his attorney appealed this case to the Oregon State of Appeals in April 2004. I had no attorney and wrote my own sixty-five page legal .brief without a law degree, while homeless with no resources and no legal assistance. The Oregon State of Appeals denied my ex-husband, Mr. Vaughn Martin Warner and his attorneys appeal to sue me for $50,000 in child support. 

 

Many individuals have developed a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that Dr. Karin Huffer describes as Legal Abuse Syndrome (LAS).  It is a psychic injury, not a mental illness.  Abuse of power and authority and a profound lack of accountability in our courts has become rampant.  Awareness that such things can even happen is the first step toward change.

 

To harass and exhaust a victim through repeated, frivolous court action aimed at punishing and controlling her, beyond the point where a victim is physically, mentally, or financially able to defend herself, is a form of legal stalking.  The family court system, as it is, does not recognize this, and the advocacy system is literally not financially able to help these survivors spend thousands and thousands of dollars defending themselves year after year in court.

 

Many mothers who seek safety from abuse are routinely prohibited from having even the most basic contact with their own children, not because they were unfit parents, but because they were outspent, out represented, and out-maneuvered in a court atmosphere not prepared to understand the needs of families dealing with domestic violence.  We suffer the consequences of "Vengeful Father Syndrome".

 

Two hundred years ago a system of legal slavery allowed for the ownership of human beings as if they were livestock. Children were ripped away from their mothers with as little consideration as separating a calf from a cow. In this country today, extreme forms of paternalistic religion promote an institutional form of slavery where a woman must be totally obedient to a husband who has absolute control of her life. The wife’s lot is to obey and bear children. If she rebels and chooses to save herself by escaping from this life, the father—supported by the church community and often by the court system, can forcibly strip a child away from the mother.

 

I have concluded by my present circumstances, that the judicial and religious organizations and people who have aided my former husband, V. Martin Warner, all embrace the same views regarding women and children. They believe male power is absolute over women and great harm will come to those who question and/or defy that power. I believe this is the mentality that causes and perpetuates abuse.                                                                                                                                                                                

 

Battered women may lose their babies and children, their homes, their friends and their livelihood. Survivors of childhood abuse will often even lose their families. Rarely does society recognize the dimensions and long lasting effects of this reality for the victim. After over a decade of personally seeking assistance from advocacy groups on a local, state and national level, the advocacy system, as is, has offered me nothing.

 

Removing a mother’s children from her, when she has committed no crime, is cruel and unusual punishment. The physical, mental, and emotional toll of surviving the negligence, abuse and trauma from the individuals who are part of my story will last forever. Although I risked everything to escape from my ex-husband, and in some ways I lost everything, I have never been more sane or more sure that the choices I made were the only choices I could make and survive.

 

A judge’s signature on a white sheet of paper can be a shattering experience for an individual. To lose one’s children in such a way would unmake any woman.” And it is true. Taking a woman’s children is the last great punishment an abuser can scar them with. To be publicly and permanently branded ‘unfit’ is a new scarlet letter. It can and will scar an entire family for life.

 

LIFE Magazine, USA Today and many other magazines have featured articles on women in prison in America. They report that women prisoners are allowed to keep their babies with them for eighteen months while serving their sentences, (Florida Statute 944.24). I am haunted by this single question. Why was I treated lower than a criminal by Oregon's judicial law system? I was a faithful wife and mother for almost twenty years. Presently, I have fewer rights than a criminal in America and I have no criminal record and have no history of alcohol, drug or child abuse.

 

Loving non-custodial mothers face a stigma in society that is reprehensible and unjust. People assume these mothers do not have custody because they are drug addicts, alcoholics, child abusers, or they just didn't want their children. While there certainly are cases of abusive mothers who give up their children, and walked away, in more and more cases today, fit and loving mothers are losing custody of their children against their will.

 

Losing permanent custody and visitation of your children feels like being doused in oil and set on fire. Healing is slow and difficult. The pain never goes away. One doctor describes removing a nursing infant from a mother similar to castrating a man. I still wake up with night terrors. The memory of being forced to give up my children is a continual torment to my body, mind and soul.

 

Excerpt of a letter from Sergeant Major Brian K. Jackson, USMC (Ret) to Mr. Joel Corcoran, U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley's assistant, May 9, 2013, "As I watch the news today, I see all sorts of other cases pretty similar to Coral Theill's. The thing that I just do not understand about our "system" is why or how can we allow what happened to Coral (and is still happening) to happen. Some are held against their will, raped, battered, abused and then glorified as are the three ladies from Ohio.  Guys are considered "heroes" as a result of being the person to make a phone call to the authorities about it. Then we have those in the same situation (and maybe even worse) who are blamed, ostracized from society, stripped not only of their children but of their dignity, ridiculed, and even forced into hiding and receive absolutely no support from anyone in the justice system who by the way are supposed to be by the people, of the people and for the people."

 

What I experienced during my childhood, in my marriage, in the churches and the court system amounts to nothing less than hate crimes with a gender bias.

 

Forcibly taking a mother's children, and then controlling her emotionally by withholding contact must be publicly recognized as one of the greatest forms of 'mis-use' of the American justice system and one of the greatest hidden vehicles for wide-spread socially approved physical and emotional abuse and control.

 

To unnecessarily and violently separate a woman and her young children can represent the gravest form of abuse, with major social ramifications in generations to come.

 

Respectfully,

                

 

             

Coral Anika Theill                                                                                                                         

Aka:  Kathryn Y. (Hall) Warner                                                                                                   

Memoir:  BONSHEA Making Light of the Dark                                                                           

Website:  www.coralanikatheill.com

 

Bio: 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coral Anika Theill's published works address abuse and trauma recovery and most recently, wounded Marines and Montford Point Marines. Her writings have encouraged and inspired numerous trauma victims and wounded Marines and service members recovering from PTS and TBI. Coral's positive insights as a survivor have also earned the respect of clinical therapists, advocates, professors and authors.

 

BONSHEÁ Making Light of the Dark has been used as a college text for nursing students at Linfield College, Portland, Oregon. In July 2011 Coral received the Lester Granger Award from the National Montford Point Marine Association. In 2002 she received a Writer's Award from iUniverse Publishing Co. She is also a contributing writer for Leatherneck Magazine and Short Rations for Marines. Her October 2011 Leatherneck Magazine article, "Invisible Battle Scars:  Confronting the Stigma Associated with PTS & TBI," is cited in the U.S. Army War College "Psychological Health Notes."

 

Ms. Theill is a survivor of childhood sex trafficking, molestation and abuse, rape, domestic violence, marital rape, spiritual abuse, and nearly twenty years of “legal stalking” and judicial injustice. Before her marriage, she was co-valedictorian of her high school class, completed pilot training and ground school (age 17-19) and worked as a court reporter and legal secretary.  She survived twenty years of domestic violence and now lives under a “state address protection program” from her former husband, Marty Warner of Independence, Oregon

 

 

  •  August 1, 2015, Coral Anika Theill's Oregon court case history from 1995-2015 regarding her abusive marriage, divorce, rape, legal abuse, and the abrupt removal of her eight children, including her nursing infant, in 1996, was included in the Claim Submitted to United Nations on Modern Day Human Rights Crisis Details Systemic Discrimination against Women Resulting in Loss of Children.  The individuals involved in her case, including family members, pastors, and judges, were named in the petition.  Coral Anika Theill’s UNITED NATIONS Case Number:   168                                                                                                          
  • August 13, 2014, Coral Anika Theill submitted a request for a hearing with the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights regarding the violation of her human rights, the 19 years of case history in Polk County Oregon which includes approximately 45 court related hearings, and the court sanctioned domestic violence, child abuse and kidnapping of her eight children, including her nursing infant.  In the report she included the crimes perpetrated by her ex-husband, Vaughn Martin (Marty) Warner, Independence, Oregon, of kidnapping, battering, ritual abuse, torture, marital rape and prohibiting her medical care during their marriage and in 1993-1994 while she was suffering from a depression, breakdown and partial stroke. Also included in the report are the crimes committed by her parents and grandparents of sex trafficking Coral Theill for years as a child, and the abuse she suffered from Pastor Bill Heard, Roseburg, Oregon, and counselors at the Bill Gothard Institute in Chicago, Illinois and pastors, cult leaders and church members in Oregon.  (Court transcripts, audio court tapes. videos, numerous affidavits and medical reports are available.

     

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