It’s a bit difficult keeping track of ‘new’ people that Joan M Wheeler, meets and cons into writing reviews for her, particularly if you are NOT familiar with her ‘history’. She does tend to MAKE a convincing case for herself…but some people are just NOT aware of the damage that Joan has done. There’s this misguided opinion that poor Joan has been a long suffering victim. These folks that think that don’t know what mine-fields are just under the surface!
If you DON’T know Joan, you don’t know that ADOPTION is ALL she thinks and talks about; she has no other life. If you happen to sit at a coffee shop, or a reading room, or a bar listening to a band, and she hears the word ‘adoption’ or if she begins a conversation and questions you about ‘adoption’…well you have instantly become her NEW target! Don’t feel so bad…she has a long long list of those she has conned.
Anyway, here is the newest review from Mark Kneitinger and the subsequent comments. BTW, I did noticed that I misspelled his name in my first comment, but decided to leave it as is; I am after all only human!
By Mark Kneitinger on May 8, 2016 Format: Paperback
I finished Forbidden Family and was breathless. What a tough story to tell and yet done so well. I see this is the author’s first book (revised) and I was swayed by her openness to every detail, good and bad. This is the real deal, no stone goes unturned! This is a life story and a good one for adoptees to read. You pick up a book like this and think it’s a happy ending but Ms. Wheeler is correct in saying that in every aspect she was duped and I would say by the very foundations we hold sacred; the law, religion and family. I came upon this book as my son was adopted and although he never chose to see his biological father he did seek to find his siblings and for him short lived. In the end this is an autobiographical journey into the dangers of closed adoptions. The laws differ by state and country and in my opinion are wrong especially for medical and genetic data. We see the 50’s were a different time and one could walk away from a child with the “support” of others. We see the forbidden truth told to an adolescent girl and an epic journey of self discovery begins but laced with the sad reality that Ms. Wheeler journey is far from over. I think this book is canon in adoptee rights and legal forums and would recommend this book for social workers, the socially conscious and most importantly those “duped” by the system. I would like to read more from this author concerning her own or the adoptees legal fight to obtain their true identity. Again, well written and thought provoking!
May 8, 2016 11:27:38 AM PDT
gert mcqueen says:
Mark Kneitinter believes this book is a must read for the socially conscious and adoptees seeking truth? Really?? He also believes that this book is canon in adoptee rights and legal forums and would recommend this book for social workers?? Really??
There’s nothing in this book that could help any legal battle for adoptees’ rights and birth records nor help social workers; the author deleted 4 chapters that had ANY real information on those points. Nothing in this book will sway people away from adoption. The truth, as presented, is the author’s viewpoint slanted for her own propaganda that she was DUPED. The only people that were duped are members of two families and we can all figure out those reasons!
This revision is a self-published one because no other publisher will touch it, for it is NOT non-fiction. It is about real people and their lives, told by the author, who presents A FICTIONAL adaption! What this reviewer, Mark, thinks is the author’s openness to every detail good and bad, is actually totally FICTIONAL. That is why the story is TOUGH, because the author has written a FICTIONAL story, using all creative writing forms and her imagination about what she thinks happened or what she wants to happen, to tell HER story. The real people, whose family names are used so wantonly in this book, are the real victim here. If you want truth, don’t be DUPED with this book!
Posted on May 8, 2016 2:59:23 PM PDT
Ruth Pace says:
The reason this is a “revised” book and self-published on amazon, is because when the first edition of Forbidden Family came out, there were blatant lies in it. The author signed a contract with Trafford Publications stating that her “non-fiction” book was truthful and she held the copyright to the work and all its contents. On the back cover was a family photograph taken at least a year before the author was born. (actual date is not known, the author’s mother did appear to have a “full-size” belly, but the size of the child held in the author’s father’s arms appears to only have been 2 years of age. That child had turned 3 the summer of 1955, the year the author surmises the picture had been taken. There is no way the author has copyrights off a picture that was taken before she was born (and she admits it inside the book).
The other thing the author violated in the contract? – That her ‘non-fiction” book is truthful! I found many lies in it – particulary in regards to ME and MY LIFE. I still had actual police and court documents regarding 3 separate court cases of harassments that the author had performed against me – which proved the LIES contained in Forbidden Family. These documents were sent to Trafford Publications and their legal department determined that the author had indeed violated the contract that she signed. In May 2011, Trafford pulled the book from publication.
The author then proceeded to to “revise” a book that she herself had touted on the internet as the TRUTH. I have asked time and again, how can the TRUTH BE REVISED? It cannot. This new “revision” is not revised at all, except to change the wordings of certain things, adding new lies, and taking out 4 chapters – chapters that deal with adoption reform!
I realize that this reviewer does not have the 2009 edition of this ‘book’ to compare. But my blog contains many passages of the 2009 edition along with scanned copies of my documents. My blog Refuting a Book of Lies, Forbidden Family is the real ‘go-to’ source of finding the out how and what the author was duped about.
May 8, 2016 4:35:15 PM PDT
Mark Kneitinger says:
This is the first time I have written a review that resulted in an attack! Criticism is open ended and I respect that but I do not respect attack. Revisions are done for reasons and now that you stated those facts I can respect your views but it doesn’t change the story or what I got out of it which is insight. I read it as an autobiographical account of an adoptee and the struggles it involves as I needed to view things as my child sees it. I read the book for input and understanding, I think in this country censorshop is not dead! It’s a tough story and I understand that all families involved will not see things in the same light. The first argument was valid the other was abusive and I will report that. The author wrote a book and all biographers are not always seen in a good light. It doesn’t change the authors story as it’s ger recollection from interviewing the original sources, It’s her struggle too isn’t it? I wil ldebate any rational argument but not attacks. My comment stands, for people looking for a real life expreience of an adoptee who searched for her true self this is a great book. And yes anything that adds to tell an adoptee story of struggle should be considered canon especially after the last comments. I think any people that are seeking their biological family should read this book because it’s a struggle and know doubt I should read the 1st edition.
May 8, 2016 5:09:26 PM PDT
Ruth Pace says:
My comment was not an attack on you Mr. K. – As to your assumption that the author has the right to write her biography as she fits, well, I agree to that – EXCEPT when SLANDER and LIBEL are committed. Did you not see where I said ACTUAL POLICE AND COURT DOCUMENTS were used to refute ACTUAL LIES about me in the book?
When actual police and court documents refute LIES – than it is quite a different thing than other family members “will not see things in the same light.” And as to ‘recollections’ – sorry, again, the author’s ‘recollections’ are out and out lies – when she says her children were put on a witness stand to testify against me in my presence – that never happened. Absolutely never happened. The book states a “three month court battle,” – words slanted that makes the reader think a long drawn-out court battle with her children on the stand! Nope. We appeared on March 17, 1995 for the author’s arraignment. For a total of about 10 minutes in front of the judge. Case was adjourned to the following month. Where time restraints made the judge have to adjourn the case to the next month. That took about 5 minutes. When we reconvened the following month (May 1995), the judge didn’t want to be bothered with ‘battling sisters’ and dismissed my harassment charge saying “sisters should get along.” – So were we in court for 3 months? nope. There were three APPEARANCES – one in March, one in April and one in May – no 3 month court battle. If the author says she remembers a three month long court battle – I have to wonder what is going on in her brain.
So yes, Mr. K. ‘families involved will not see things in the same light,” however, when actual police and court documents bear out the facts, a family member when reminded of the documents (as I did via my blog and other internet sources) – somebody’s memory needs to be improved. And sadly, people like yourself, will hear only one side, and never do the research, altho the proof is out there.
And what do you mean the author’s recollection is from interviewing the original sources? Tell me, Mr. K., do you know MY family, do you know the details of MY childhood? Where are you getting your information? Certainly not from ME, the original source – because I have never met you, therefore, what ever you think you know about MY life, you didn’t get it from the original source. Please do so, before you believe something about me. So you are saying that what the author writes about me should be considered canon – just because you are a personal friend of hers? Tell me, Mr. K. – what you know about me.
May 8, 2016 5:37:18 PM PDT
gert mcqueen says:
Mr Kneitinger, sorry that you view counter arguments as an attack, personally I don’t see it! Censorship is not an issue here either! Yes, revisions are done for many reasons, but a TRUTH certainly does not need revisions! I do have to differ with you on the point about any author’s recollection versus the accurate facts.
Case in point, sir, is the author’s `recollection’ of someone else’s minor children and her retelling the story to FIT the author’s needs; that adoption is wrong because of birth certificates etc, blah blah blah. If you have read the book you no doubt know the author’s presentation of what `happened’ when her sister was `adopting’ her own flesh and blood child with second husband! Well everything that is in this book about that `episode’ and more about those children is false! There are documents to prove that the author VIOLATED someone else’s parental rights BECAUSE they choose to ADOPT and the author WARNED the parent that adoption was wrong! No sir, you really do need, for the sake of censorship and insights, to read other source materials about this book and the author!
As far as the first edition is concerned, it is no longer being printed, you must get a copy from the author if she still even recognizes that IT existed or I could loan you my copy!
Mark Kneitinger says:
No Ms. Pace you were not the one who attacked. Unlike some poeple I don’t use names in vain. You made a valid and rational argument and I see that this account was not good for you emotionally. Thanks for capitalizing I didn’t have to put on my glasses. I read the 2nd addition which should be void of your original complaints, correct? If the judge dismissed the allegations that would be indicative they held no weight one would think. A biographer interviews sources and I assume as sisters you have talked about your livesm if not then tell me you have never spoked with Ms. Wheeler about your life and I will recant my post. I will read your book if you publish one so I can get your perspective too. I read the book because I adopted and at one point wanted to seek out his birth relatives. There are deep wounds I get that, I read that and now I am experiencing it. I am sorry for your struggles but I did read the book was that okay?
Posted on May 8, 2016 6:29:12 PM PDT
Mark Kneitinger says:
Thank you Ms. McQueen for a nicely worded rebuttal and I will throw out your first rant. It is like I have written the book! My comments were based on reading a deep thought provoking book, her story not yours. There are two sides to the story as you rebut but to be fair to the author she has an opinion as well. Remember I chose to read her book not yours. Perhaps you should write a book on the realities of biological look-ups. It’s easy being an arm chair quarterback as in your case but I think you would reach more forums than Amazon and maybe you will sleep better knowing your side is being told and if you write it I promise to read it. I have written a review of a book on John Lennon please be kinder to that review as he is a personal hero.
gert mcqueen says: May 8, 2016 6:52:29 PM PDT
Mark…I don’t know why you are being so…unreasonable… with a difference of opinion or actually being faced with certain facts that the author has neglected to inform her readers of, but rest assured that there is more to the story than what the author presents. Don’t be so naive to think that the author would actually ‘talk’ with the very people she maligned in this book. I have had 5 contacts with her in 30 years and still have had lies written about those 5 contacts. I have written more than `one’ book on this topic/book, a reasonable google search will provide you will enough information, I’m an open book, as they say. Do look me up!
May 8, 2016 7:23:45 PM PDT
Mark Kneitinger says:
Gert I will do my research and read your press, I stand behind what I say. I have to ask though if I had written I hated the book would it have generated such ire? To be completely fair, your sister seems to be the bigger person as she has not written to either of us to rebut or critique this review. All of the argument clinics take away from the fact that i read a book on a subject I needed to learn something about (adoptees seeking their bio families) and for that I got more than the price of admission especially now! It is a well written book would you at least ackolwedge that or is that asking for you to come to the dark side? I understand the pain but if you let it go wouldn’t be easier living your life than living for these reviews.
May 8, 2016 7:50:38 PM PDT
gert mcqueen says:
Mark…I still do not understand why you feel that my opinion, which is contrary to your own, is an attack or wrong to be voiced! If you hated the book I would point out even more reasons for not liking the book, for there are hundreds of reasons. The author will never speak to those whom she has maligned in the book…we have been there, done that, and we have the back-stabs to prove it (btw so do my innocent children)! No I’m sorry Mark, you don’t understand the pain! WE found her, we loved her, we wanted her and all everyone got was our characters assassinated. YOU want to learn about adoptees finding their birth families…well sometimes, you don’t know what you will find when you open that box. OUR family found out the hard way because we FOUND HER. Hope your finding is more pleasant and more productive. The author’s ONLY reason for writing the book is because she WANTS adoption ABOLISHED because HER life is a mess and she USES two families to prove her assessment that adoption made her as she is! Sorry I don’t buy that assessment and I hope you are smarter than that! Good night.
Posted on May 8, 2016 8:13:55 PM PDT
Mark Kneitinger says:
When all is said and done the only person who didn’t have say which is unfair and one sided is the author herself. In the end I got my money’s worth and themn some. I am sorry your family is dysfunctional over the book I shouldn’t have to apologize but I will. Don’t you think Ms. Wheeler is the person who was wronged in all of this. That is the theme of the book and the reason I read it. Abandonment brings pain. I mentioned John lennon before like your sister he was raised by someone else and was told as an adolescent who his mother really was. It created some fantastic music with the angst but it made for one one tortured soul who throughout his career sought love and respect. Please stop with the posts, I’ve read the book and it was worth the price of admission. Move on and good luck with your journey and healing! In closing I hope your retorts would not sway someone from reading this book, censorship’s a bad thing. Your point is well taken, she revivsed the book it is sold on Amazon and I own it so stop.
May 8, 2016 8:29:27 PM PDT
Ruth Pace says:
I have found that some people can’t take anybody disagreeing with them. They take an opposing viewpoint as a personal attack on them. I am reminded of a discussion just yesterday (Saturday, May 7, 2016) on facebook where someone was objecting to a political meme placed on a fan site of a well-known actor. I chimed in and said I thought the meme was funny, and she jumped on me and said it wasn’t funny and it was inappropriate to post. I said that in my opinion it was not inappropriate and the woman kept it up – until – and I was floored (and flattered) that the actor backed me up. lol. (Oh Captain, My Captain).
The fact that Ms. McQueen and I ‘have’ an opposing viewpoint of this book seems to rattle the author’s buddies. I stand by what I say, and back up Ms. McQueen’s statements. The book in question is NOT solely about the author’s life – she has included ME in the book and tells about MY marriages, MY job, MY LIFE. And I reserve the right and exercise my right to have the truth told about MY life. If someone has the right to write lies about me – then I have the right to tell the truth about myself. That is my civil right. And my civil rights are non-negotiable. End of discussion here. blogged it.
May 9, 2016 6:11:28 AM PDT
Mark Kneitinger says:
ok I’m done with responses, it’s not productive. You two definitely have an agenda and I want no part of it. I read a book wrote a review and want no part of a family civil war. Please be respectful of me and my post, I harbor no bad feelings for you or your sisters. Not that you need to know but if it helps your blog a counselor suggested the book when I asked about my child seeking answers. Please stop the spam. In writing one review I’ve been sent a Facebook request and rebuttals with no end in sight and it’s rather childish. I think the author is the only person showing any respect or she knows better than to post in this forum. Stop please or I will report you both to Amazon. Your points have been made I get it! You feel violated and you dislike your sister, just leave me out of it please and thank you.
End of comments
But then Mark had to ‘rewrite’ his review…ok!!!
I finished Forbidden Family and thought it was a tough story to tell. I see this is the author’s first book (revised) and it’s an open and sad story in every detail, good and bad! A great book for adoptees to read who are in search of their blood relatives and what to expect. You pick up a book like this and think it’s a happy ending but it’s not! Ms. Wheeler is correct in saying that in every aspect she was duped, the law, religion and even her family were no comfort. A therapist recommended this book to share with my son as he was seeking out his biological siblings and this book is probably for the most part what you can expect. In the end this is an autobiographical journey into the dangers and realities of closed adoptions. It begins and ends with the sad reality that Ms. Wheeler’s journey is never going to be over. I think this is a great book for adoptees to read who seek their true identity. I would also recommend this book for health care professionals who work with adoptees as this book isn’t sugar coated. I would like to read more from this author concerning what happened after the book and her continued legal fight obtaining her true identity. Again, well written and very intense!
update…August 3, 2016...I added another comment.
Your initial post: Jul 24, 2016 4:39:23 PM PDT
gert mcqueen says:
This book is not a unique adoption story and will not give anyone, adoptee or not, any useful information about what to expect in adoption or in reunion! It is a lousy book!
Don’t know if it will stay if Mark sees it or not…doesn’t matter does it!