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Operating Her Children Of The Underground Network - Faye Yager's Approach

Explore the intriguing world of faye yager operating her children of the underground network - faye yager's approach. Uncover the secrets behind her extraordinary methods as she navigates the complexities of this clandestine endeavor, offering a riveting journey into the heart of a hidden network.

Vincent Bloodworth
Vincent Bloodworth
Feb 08, 2024131 Shares2.7K Views
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  1. How Families Went Underground
  2. Faye Yager’s Life And Personal Battles
  3. Calls For Investigation
  4. Dangerous Consequences To Yager’s Actions
Operating Her Children Of The Underground Network - Faye Yager's Approach

For numerous years, Faye Yager orchestrated an underground network from her residence in Atlanta, Georgia, aimed at concealing children allegedly subjected to abuse.

Her advocates applaud her as a noble figure, challenging a justice system that seemingly failed these children by granting custody to their reportedly abusive parents, often fathers.

However, her detractors argue that her actions amount to kidnapping and vigilantism, asserting they are detrimental to the very children she sought to protect.

Now in her 70s, Yager gained widespread media attention during the 1980s when she openly discussed her "Children of the Underground" network. According to a 2016 Newsweek article, the network reportedly comprised individuals affiliated with domestic violence shelters, women's groups, and even former nuns.

In a 1989 interview with Florida's Sun Sentinel newspaper, Yager boldly stated, "Every time I hide one, I feel like I'm up one on the system. One more kid they don't get their hands on. And I double-dare them to come after me."

However, Yager retreated from the public eye in 1999, facing a $100 million lawsuit from a Philadelphia millionaire whose ex-wife took their children abroad, as reported by Newsweek.

How Families Went Underground

In open defiance of court custody orders, the network's members actively aided non-custodial parents, predominantly mothers, in concealing and safeguarding their children from alleged abuse by the other parent. Faye Yager proudly asserted to various media outlets that she had assisted over 1,000 children throughout the years.

Yager emphasized that the network adhered to a principle of not accepting children without the involvement of a guardian. As revealed in a 2011 interview with the Detroit Free Press, families often collaborated with planners months in advance before the children went into hiding. Once on the run, the children frequently underwent significant transformations, adopting new names and acquiring forged identification papers, as disclosed by Yager to the Minneapolis Star Tribune in 2015.

The network's most high-profile case unfolded with millionaire Bipin Shah, who garnered Time magazine's cover in May 1998 after offering a $2 million reward for the return of his two young daughters. Ultimately, Shah located them at their mother's residence in Switzerland and successfully brought them back to the United States.

Highlighting the complexities of the case, Shah's ex-wife, the girls' mother, claimed she had experienced physical abuse at the hands of Shah, allegations he vehemently denied. Notably, she never accused him of mistreating their daughters, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Shah dropped his $100 million lawsuit against Faye Yager after reuniting with his daughters.

Faye Yager’s Life And Personal Battles

Hailing from West Virginia and raised in a large family of eleven children, Faye Yager's life took a dramatic turn when she married Roger Lee Jones at the age of 17 in 1966. The marriage, which ended in divorce six years later, was marred by a disturbing accusation: Yager claimed that Jones had molested their daughter in their Atlanta home.

The severity of the situation escalated when their daughter tested positive for gonorrhea at the tender age of 4. However, this crucial evidence did not materialize in time for the court hearing, resulting in custody being awarded to Jones. Despite Yager's persistent appeals, she never succeeded in regaining custody of her daughter, who tragically ended up in a mental hospital, as recounted by Yager to the Sun Sentinel.

Years later, justice caught up with Jones, who was charged with sexually molesting other children and even found a place on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list. He was apprehended in 1989, marking a measure of closure for Yager.

The genesis of Yager's underground network dates back to 1987 when she read about the case of Karen Newsom in Mississippi. Newsom lost custody of her children after accusing her husband of sexual abuse. This incident served as a catalyst for Yager to embark on her mission of helping non-custodial parents protect their children from alleged abuse.

In 1987, Yager co-founded Mothers Against Raping Children, later known as Mothers Alliance for the Rights of Children. However, internal disagreements arose, leading co-founders Sarah King and Denise Gooch to ask Yager to leave the group in 1990. King cited concerns about exaggerations in Yager's media presentations and a focus on the underground network rather than systemic improvement.

Yager's activism faced legal challenges in 1990 when she was arrested and charged with cruelty to children, kidnapping, and interference with custody in Cobb County, Georgia. The charges stemmed from her involvement with two children whose mother sought refuge from an abusive husband. The children alleged that Yager coerced them into fabricating stories of abuse.

Although Yager was acquitted in 1992, the case underscored the contentious nature of her methods. Even among critics, there was acknowledgment of Yager's "good intentions," coupled with concerns about her becoming "obsessed," as described by Cobb County District Attorney Tom Charron. The intricate web of Yager's life and activism reveals a complex journey marked by personal tragedy, legal battles, and a steadfast commitment to her controversial mission.

Calls For Investigation

Over time, Faye Yager shifted her focus, attributing the perceived injustices in family courts to what she described as "a shadowy, satanic brotherhood" that supposedly manipulated the nation's legal system, haunted law enforcement, and allowed children to endure unimaginable suffering, as reported by the Los Angeles Times in 1990.

Yager's presence in the media spotlight was pronounced, notably featuring in a 1989 episode of the daytime talk show "Geraldo" titled "Mothers Running from the Devil." During the episode, journalist and host Geraldo Rivera conducted interviews with Yager, parents, and children assisted by her underground network.

Shockingly, several mothers and even two fathers claimed on the show that their children had fallen victim to rape, violent ritual abuse, and were coerced into participating in bloody animal sacrifices and even the killings of other children. Rivera, while acknowledging the need for skepticism, called for a "full-blown congressional investigation."

One of Yager's supporters, Amy Neustein, co-author of the book "From Madness to Mutiny: Why Mothers Are Running from the Family Courts—and What Can Be Done About It". Neustein recounted meeting Yager in the late 1980s, drawn together by their shared experiences of family turmoil involving child custody and alleged abuse. They appeared on talk shows and traveled together, sharing a belief in the victimization of children by family court systems and the exploitation by a widespread child pornography ring.

Neustein expressed hope for a U.S. Attorney General investigation into these issues. Highlighting the challenges faced by mothers in the family court system, Neustein emphasized the lack of vindication for those losing their children to alleged abusers. She recognized Yager as "singularly focused" with an animated, sharp intelligence that captivated even strangers.

Despite their shared mission, Neustein acknowledged that Yager's flamboyant and theatrical personality might not have been the most effective messenger, suggesting that people may have been diverted by her persona and, in turn, overlooked the core message. In reflection, Neustein speculated that Yager's controversial personality may have overshadowed the substance of her cause. Despite the challenges, she believed Yager had the potential to make history, leaving a lasting impact on the issues she championed.

Dangerous Consequences To Yager’s Actions

Research indicates that a small percentage, ranging from 1 percent to 6 percent, of child sexual abuse allegations in custody and visitation disputes are deliberately fabricated, according to information from the nonprofit Center for Judicial Excellence. The majority of such allegations are either genuine or made in good faith.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC)has consistently expressed disapproval of Faye Yager and her underground network. Angeline Hartmann, NCMEC's director of communications, emphasized the agency's commitment to working within the legal system and relying on experts to assess all sides in matters concerning children's well-being. Hartmann stressed that despite good intentions, kidnapping children interferes with the legal process and is not acceptable. Whether it involves Faye Yager or any other organization, the NCMEC opposes such actions.

In 2021, of the 27,733 missing children, 90 percent were categorized as endangered runaways, while fewer than 5 percent were missing due to family abduction, according to NCMEC data. Hartmann pointed out the misconception that children are safe with a parent, highlighting the potential dangers in cases of domestic disputes. Such scenarios can be volatile and risky, with kidnapped children often lacking enrollment in school, adequate nutrition, housing, medical or dental care.

The unknown factors they may be exposed to add further concern. Addressing the failures of the legal system in protecting children, Hartmann emphasized the need to navigate through the established system for improvements. Living a life on the run or going underground, according to Hartmann, results in nothing positive. She stressed the importance of working within the legal framework to bring about meaningful change and cautioned against the potential harms associated with a life outside the established system.

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