A review of "Ashes To Ashes. . . Families To Dust" by Dean Tong.
This book is an indispensable guide for anyone who's been falsely accused of molestation or sex abuse. The book begins with several case studies, a summary of the case studies, and then moves on to cover such subjects as the Sexual Allegations In Divorce (SAID) syndrome, the child victim, the use of dolls in child abuse interviews, an overview of the various agencies involved, typical court practices, and ways to fight back. The book also includes an excellent section by Ken Pangborn, a trial consultant to the A-Team, specialists in defending against false accusations of sex abuse.
False allegations of abuse are rampant in divorce cases these days. If you're involved in divorce and are a man, you should be prepared for the possibility of being falsely accused of molesting your children or committing some other form of sex abuse upon them. This is a fact, not an exaggeration or overstatement. These tactics, sad to say, work very well - the moment you're accused, most courts will immediately issue a temporary restraining order preventing you from having any contact with your children. This immediately puts you at a tremendous legal, financial, and emotional disadvantage - you will have to, in effect, prove that something didn't happen.
Ashes To Ashes contains much practical information that was clearly learned the hard way. Mr. Tong's writing is clear and to the point, and it's obvious that he knows his subject well. (The first case history, "Massachusetts 1980 -- Florida 1991" is his personal story.) His example shows how minor missteps early in the case can cause disastrous results later on.
Ashes To Ashes includes a series of useful appendixes, with various checklists and resources for those accused of sexual abuse. Also included are an attorney referral list, and a short section on case law and false accusations. Online resources are detailed in a separate appendix.
If you've been falsely accused of abuse, the material in this book will seem chillingly familiar. If you haven't, consider yourself lucky, and use this book as a guide to what you may soon be facing. Almost without exception, fathers involved in divorce where children are involved do not take allegations of abuse seriously enough. Most fathers tend to feel that these accusations will "blow over" or won't be taken seriously by the authorities. In nearly every case, they are tragically mistaken.
One concept the book stresses is the need for an immediate and vigorous response to false allegations of abuse. This is an extremely important point, and to his credit, Mr. Tong provides a number of reasonable and effective responses to false allegations. The book also stresses the importance of NEVER admitting to something you didn't do in an attempt to appease the court or to 'show your cooperation'. This is a common ploy by the courts and social services, often made with the promise that by doing so you will 'clear things up' and allow the case to be concluded without adverse legal consequences to you. Nothing could be further from the truth.
As reference material, Ashes To Ashes is an excellent guidebook to have on hand. For anyone who has actually been accused of false allegations, this book is required reading. Ashes To Ashes should be a standard item on the bookshelf of any attorney who practices family law, and should be read by any father that is (or expects to be) involved in divorce proceedings.
Based on price (moderate) as well as content (excellent), we rate Ashes To Ashes . . . Families To Dust as a 5-star resource (on a scale of 1 to 5).