BEARBAITING, the medieval sport of setting of dogs on a bear or a bull chained to a stake by the neck or leg. Bears would often also be blinded. Popular from the 12th to the 19th century, when they were banned as inhumane, these spectacles were usually staged at theatre-like arenas known as bear gardens. In England many large groups of bears were kept expressly for this most barbaric and obscene purpose. Contemporary records reveal, for example, that 13 bears were provided for an entertainment attended by Queen Elizabeth I in 1575.
Bearbaiting began to decline in popularity, although very slowly, from the late 17th century onward. They were banned in England by the Puritans during the Civil Wars and Commonwealth (1642-60), and they were permanently outlawed by act of Parliament in 1835. Contemporary details of bearbaiting from Pakistan, one of the last few places where it is still practiced, report as follows:
"The bears, after being taken out of their natural habitat, get their teeth ripped out with pliers with no painkillers, nothing to stop the bleeding, and nothing to fight infections. Their claws are also ripped out leaving the bear totally defenseless. The helpless bears are now chained to a post and get mauled by attack dogs while thousands of spectators cheer with excitement. Without teeth or claws a bear must fight for its life against these ferocious dogs. Some of these bears have to go through several fights in one day with a few dogs in each fight. Their muzzles are ripped to pieces and ears bitten severely. Some of the younger bears are said to scream like a child from the pain that it is forced to endure. Some of the bears put their faces to the ground and try to cover themselves with their paws while the disappointed crowd boos because the bear isn't trying to fight back. As it is tightly tethered, a bear cannot escape the onslaught of teeth and claws. Injuries to its face can be horrifically agonising - not to mention disfiguring"
This so called sport neatly demonstrates the primevil human capacity to be: sadistic, mean, and cruel. There was something about bearbaiting that appealed to these onlookers, many of them women. A particular attraction must have been seeing something so powerful rendered so helpless. So it is with family law that mothers must derive tremendous pleasure from denying a father the chance to see his own children. This sadistic pleasure is also undoubtedly shared by the judges and lawyers. Sometimes the misery induced in these fathers results in them taking their own life. Imagine the evil pleasure that must be gained from watching a bear being ripped to pieces or a father taking his own life.
It is no accident, and highly significant, that one of the gardens in the Royal Courts of Justice is called the Bear garden. Lord Chief Justice Goddard used to have seminal emissions when sentencing young men to death, a fact that only became widely known after his death as a result of one of his junior officials. Judge Geoffrey Jones at Leicester County Family Court (UK) is on record as saying:
"Have you got a dog? Well, the bitch gets the puppies"
The family court judges can almost be seen rubbing their hands before reading out their judgements which remove a father from: his children, his house, and his wealth. Each time a father returns to the family courts to desperately claw back some precious time with his children he gets knocked down to the ground by the attack dogs of the legal system in a fight that is skewed against him. It is a sport called fatherbaiting.