Requiem for Dr. Daniel Amneus

By :  Robert Lindsay Cheney Jr.

January 8, 2004

I am quiescent and circumspect.  Sad and reposed.

(T)he honorable Dr. Daniel Amneus passed away on December 18 th, 2003.  Like a somber mid-December storm, a great passing has occurred in this nation; quietly, and without fanfare.  Like a dark rain, something important has passed us all, in profound silence.  But that passing has meant something.  I hope to put the words here to show who and what this man was, and what he had accomplished.

Most Father’s Rights advocates have no idea whom Dr. Amneus was.  They have no idea of his foundational contributions to the movement.  They have not read his most compelling works.  Yet they must.   The modern contemporary men’s movement and its achievements of the last decade, can be directly traced to him.  He was not the first Father’s Rights advocate, but certainly he was the most concise and eloquent of our forefathers who wrote about father’s and family rights, (at a time when it was not only not recognized, but openly excoriated).  Like Galileo, he saw an immutable truth, and wrote comprehensive text about it—which allowed our modern movement a solid socio-political treatise which indomitably changed the face of fatherhood, and made Father’s Rights marketable and more mainstream.  He paid a price for that dedication and truth: his work was mostly ignored.

The man was a great intellect, coming clearly from a classical background and training.  His mind was eminently empirical, and he countenanced no less excellence in either his work or his students work.  You would have to know the man to understand the intellect.  He was a quiet, reserved man, one who tread in a measured pace.  He wanted to help others, so he took the tools of his trade — his mind, his teaching and his writing — and applied them to the current problem of modern Fatherhood.  The Father’s Rights movement has no idea of the treasure it has lost.  A great national treasure has passed from our midst, and there is nothing in recognition.  Only silence.  We should mark him better; and defend not only his name, but his work.

His first book on Father’s Rights was called “Back to Patriarchy,” printed by Arlington House Publishers in June of 1979.  (A)lthough it was good, it had not truly established his voice.  It was merely the first gauntlet thrown…  His second work was “The Garbage Generation,” [published under his own label of Primrose Press, 1990], … which finally came into his own.  This book … defined not only the standards of Fatherlessness, but established the watermark of the modern men’s movement.  All Father Advocates owe their work to the Garbage Generation, yet; the future was to arrive in his next book. 

Dr. Amneus next book: The Case for Father Custody [Primrose Press 2000] … was a body of work which is the watershed of our movement.  Where contemporary men and author’s have written mere expose’s, such as Dr. Warren Farrell’s The Myth of Male Power Penguin USA (2001); and Dr. Wade Horn’s The Fatherhood Initiative;  Jeffery M. Leving’s Father’s Rights: Hard-Hitting & Fair Advice for Every Father Involved in a Custody Dispute [HarperCollins (April 1997)]; as well as Dr. Steven Baskerville’s work; David Blankenhorn’s Fatherless America, etc., it was Amneus who wrote to the breadth of humanity.  Where modern writers speak to the illness, Amneus addressed and uncovered the genetic code and model.  He gave us the answers, deep within his intrinsic thoughts, his profound insight and empirical and definitive proofs. 

He gave us the Fatherhood genome and revealed every code throughout its DNA.  Our movement quietly stands on Amneus; most people have no idea of (this).  It is not only the men’s movement who (must) appreciate his work, but rather, it is humankind who will (benefit).  Like the great classics of our time, The Case for Father Custody, will be a definitive work about Father’s Rights which will stand separate from all others’ lesser works.  It is the classic of our time, and we must respect that and pay homage.

Most people (have) not read Amneus.  They do not know he even exist ed.  However, when they are introduced to his work, the reaction is profound.  His work is irrefutable, un-rebuttable.  It is the duty of any true Father’s Rights advocate to read Dr. Amneus The Case for Father Custody.  We must make new effort to adopt Amneus work into the Lexicon of the modern Father’s Rights movement…

The Father’s Rights movement has lost a great man.  We have lost others before him, and continue to lose those who have given so much to our cause.  We must recognize these great men, and … more importantly—not forget their words and their work.

Then, we must teach them.  It is time to venerate those who came before us, and gave us so much, and left us with the treasure it is up to us to carry forwards.

 …It is time we acknowledge those like Dr. Daniel Amneus—and make them monuments to be remembered and admired.  For they have set our compass and our future.