Paramount’s Yellowstone, which stars Kevin Costner, is loved by millions of Americans. It not only showcases the beauty of Montana, but also exposes the corruption, murder and intrigue that runs from politicians to ranchers and into the courts. The Montana family court system may be fiction, but it is possible to make this a reality. I keep getting in touch with one name: Standing Master Magdelena bowen.
Montana’s standing masters (SM) were appointed by district judges to reduce their caseloads and push complicated family court cases onto them instead of elected judges. The people do not elect SMs. They are almost impossible to fire. SM Bowen is an example of this.
While not all Montana counties have a standing master in place, all masters are expected to be overseen and supervised by the district judges who appointed them. According to Gallatin County court records for almost 10 years, SM Bowen seems to have little oversight by the elected judges regarding her family court decisions or actions. Many litigants claim that Bowen was allowed to lead Gallatin County families through a dictatorial, dictatorial-like maze of financial and emotional abuse. Bozeman Daily Chronicle published a letter to the editor stating that Bowen had “destroyed families and damaged reputations, derail careers, caused financial hardship, and traumatized children”.
Gallatin County residents report being held hostage by Standing Master Bowen in his courtroom. There is no way to “bounce” Standing Master Bowen and have her replaced with a valid judge. Family members are left to their fate. An unelected judge can make extreme court orders, including the separation of children from their parents under the pretense of “reunification therapy” and the sending of the children to Family Bridges hotels in the country where they will be forced to reunite with the abuser.
The Washington Post and other media outlets conducted disturbing investigations into Family Bridges. Randy Rand, a California psychologist, runs the organization. Rand lost his California license to practice. Family Bridges is part the “teen behavior industry”, which has been accused in large numbers of child abuse. This includes kidnapping children at night to transport them to the facility.
On Dec. 14, Laura & David recall that Raphael accompanied by four adults, suddenly woke them up. The adults, Bill Lane & Associates, a San Diego youth transport company, helped the children get into their cars. The children became confused and were sent away. Laura recalls that she was with two men and one woman while her brothers went with the other two. Laura spent the night in a motel before being taken to Dulles International Airport. Her brothers went to Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport. They boarded flights to California at dawn on Dec. 15.
Three years ago, CBS did a similar investigation into Family Bridges. They found that there was no oversight of the program and that it was full of abuse allegations. Despite the extensive exposure by multiple news outlets, judges across the country, including Bowen ordered children to be taken into Family Bridges and kept away from their legal parents.
David Segui, a former Major League Baseball player, had his children taken and placed in Family Bridges. They were accused of abusing their mother’s boyfriend. This was caught on film. A judge sent Segui and his children to Family Bridges despite the fact that their father was abusive. While Segui was in prison, one of his children communicated with the media and informed them that he and he brother were being mistreated at Family Bridges. Their complaints about the abuse suffered by their mother and boyfriend were dismissed and ignored.
They didn’t pay attention to anything I said. Dr. Rand, Family Bridges director, said that I was a liar. She also said that no abuse occurred and became pissed every time I brought it up. I went outside to talk with the Therapeutic Interventionist. I asked her how she was going to send me back with my sister and me after she abused me. She said that she needed both my parents to be in my life.
Family Bridges agents are often commissioned by Bowen to work as guardians ad litem in Montana courts. They charge enormous amounts of money and have a close relationship with SM Bowen. They will often recommend Family Bridges as the solution and then get paid for the therapy. This can cost anywhere from $30,000 to $80,000.
Three court actors play both the roles: Kathleen Rock, Jennifer Bjelland and Kelly Voyich. Bowen works with them to sentence children who have been abused by their parents. She does this through Family Bridges, a pseudo-scientific organization that tries to convince children that they are being abused and resentful of their preferred parent. This can be done for many months or even years. PJ Media tried to reach Rock, Bjelland and Voyich but they refused to reply.
Children age out of the system and start speaking out. Ally reports that she was forcibly taken from her Kansas home to Montana by Family Bridges. There she was forced to change and use the bathroom in front Family Bridges staff as well as her father who she claims abused her and her sister.
Pahl Johnson was another victim of the family criminal justice system. He told Montana officials about the corruption that he suffered. Bowen and the favorite “particular guardian” ad litem, who was friends with the Standing Master, he claims his sisters are still in the system and have been alienated from him.
Johnson exposed the money trail that connected Family Bridges to Bowen. Johnson said, “For the past ten years my three sisters and I have had the terrible experience of being subjected to the dangerous parenting plan ordered by the Standing Master [Bowen]] in Gallatin County.” He could purchase his children back at court for a mere ten thousand dollars. It worked. My two little sisters, who were three years old, got on the school bus. They never got off. The court ordered my sisters to be removed from school without a hearing. They will not have contact with me, my mother, or my oldest sibling, except for the occasional supervised visit, where they would pay $1 per minute.
Family court records from Bowen’s nearly ten-year case history show that Bowen gave substantial judicial authority and discretion to Family Bridges and contractors in custody cases based on the pseudo diagnosis parental alienation. Bowen agreed to the radical, abusive, and dangerous ideology Family Bridges despite being warned by all professionals against parental alienation. Bowen’s support for the scientifically disproven theory of parental alienation caused the cottage business to thrive in Gallatin County, and then spread to the rest of the state.
Johnson said that it’s all about money. Johnson said, “I needed help” and that he was punished for telling the truth to his GAL. She makes money by funneling children into parental alienation programs. He ended his remarks asking officials to remove parental alienation theory out of family courts. “Set up measures to stop greedy mental health professionals taking advantage of vulnerable children.”
PJ Media’s thorough investigation into Missouri family court corruption that lasted more than a year revealed a similar pattern in protecting abusers and removing safe parents for hundreds to thousands of dollars each family. Despite hundreds of victims asking for an investigation, Missouri legislators failed to act.
Over the past year, many families from Gallatin County came together to expose Bowen’s corruption and discriminatory treatment of their constitutional rights. Helena’s legislative bodies have heard startling testimony from children who have since aged out of the system about the abuses they suffered at the hands Bowen.
Recently discovered documents from the Montana Supreme Court date back to January 2020 show Bowen applying for reinstatement with the Montana State Bar. Bowen was not in compliance with state-ordered regulations from March 2019, until she finally compiled them and was reinstated in January 2020.
Bowen’s case record shows that she made judicial orders in family law cases throughout the 10 months she was practising law under statutory compliance. To be a standing master, you must have an active license with the Montana State Bar. It begs the question: How and why was this standing master allowed to hold court and take decisions, despite not being licensed and without accountability to the district judges who are supposed oversee her work?
Gallatin County was denied a lawsuit filed by a parent against Gallatin County after he was granted a parenting plan in the unlicensed practice law of Bowen. The suit was filed less than 24 hours. But, the same judge has cases sitting on his desk for more than six months and has yet to make a ruling.
Montana State Rep. Caleb Hinkle, R-68th District, is sponsoring a bill about standing master reform due to the lack of judicial accountability within Gallatin County where he lives. Hinkle stated to PJ Media that Montana has had a problem with judicial accountability for a long time. “We are supposed be a nation that has checks and balances in all branches government. It seems reasonable to ask that judges and standing Masters be held accountable for the same laws and accountability they are holding citizens before them in court.