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Open letter to Professor Rene Hoksbergen and rebuttal of his “professional” review of Forbidden Family by Joan Wheeler October 14, 2010

Posted by Ruth in Contradictions of Joan Wheeler, Joan Wheeler's abuse and harassment of her birth family, Lies in the book Forbidden Family, Statements from The Three Sippel Sisters.
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Joan M Wheeler has published a new ‘revision’ of the same old hate manifesto and renamed it ‘Duped by Adoption’. I have created a new blog and Facebook page…

Here are the links to my NEW blog and Facebook page



On Amazon, I have reviewed 7 reviews of this ‘new’ garbage book and created a ‘discussion’ on the Forward, by Rene Hoksbergen.

Here’s the link to the DISCUSSION about the FORWARD on Amazon


Here’s the link to a recent blog post Nov 3, 2015 about the contents of the forward


Here are the related links to blog posts that Ruth and I have already written and addressed topics related to Rene Hoksbergen, the author of the Forward.


https://ruthsippelpace.wordpress.com/2011/12/27/gert-mcqueens-review-of-rene-hoksbergens-review-of-forbidden-family-by-joan-wheeler/     this one is about the review in LAVAContact2  2010 English translation






continuing on with this POST…

The following was emailed to Professor Rene Hoksbergen on 14 October 2010. Dr. Hoksbergen is professor of adoption studies at Utrecht University in Utrecht, Holland and wrote the foreward to the book Forbidden Family by Joan Wheeler. In 1993, at Joan Wheeler’s behest, Dr. Hoksbergen involved himself  in our family  in an unprofessional manner, by writing a letter to Kathy Inglis in England. Joan lied to Dr. Hoksbergen and manipulated him into writing to Kathy. Apparently Dr. Hoksbergen, despite a formal complaint having been made to Utrecht University in 1993 over his invasion of Kathy’s privacy, continues his unprofessional behavior. We Three Sippel Sisters protest this man, a stranger to us, and his continual prying into our personal lives.

Doctor R. Hoksbergen                                       

I am Gert McQueen, birth sister of Joan Wheeler, author of the book Forbidden Family, of which you wrote the Foreword in August 2006 and a Review in 2010, month not indicated.

I have had the book since February 2010 and have been reading and writing about this book of lies since then. The first time I saw, in English translation, your review of this book was the first week of October 2010 and Doctor I must say that I am appalled!

Myself and two other birth sisters have a web blog wherein we are refuting this book of lies. The blog is called refuting a book of lies and may be reached at https://ruthsippelpace.wordpress.com I urge you to really read our blog very carefully to understand how we, the birth family, have been used and abused by Joan, not the other way around.

One reason, for writing to you, is to call your professionalism into question. Doctor, you have never met me, never spoke with me, never wrote to me, never checked facts about me or my family, and yet, you have the audacity to assume and then assert that what Joan Wheeler told you was truth! Doctor you are wrong! Joan is wrong!

Another reason for my writing is to address the various character assassinations, to which you give credence to, via the lies of Joan’s, in particular that of sexual abuse by of one Joan’s sisters, me, to her. The truth, Doctor, was that it never happened! Joan made up the story to cover up the fact that she herself initiated a three-way sexual encounter with my husband and myself! That story, of course, is NOT in the book because she lies and blames everyone else for her own misdeeds!

There is no way to explain to you in a short letter the amount of lies, fabrications and harm that Joan has done, in real life and in this book, to others as she covers up her own dirty deeds. The very reason that she ‘insists’ that I sexually abused her and her assertion that I abused my daughter was to ‘get back’ at my husband and me because we didn’t want to continue the sexual experiment that Joan wanted.

We had been forced to take many steps to remove Joan from interfering with my minor children! Beginning when Joan interfered with my and my husband’s ADOPTION of my own birth child! Joan was very militant and angry that we were ADOPTING, accusing me of being unfit! When she was told we didn’t want her opinions she then interfered with our parental authority, going behind my back to instill in my minor children that they did not need to obey the family’s core values that we set for our family. Joan went so far as to lie to police and family about the whereabouts of my minor child during a runaway episode. She then charged me with child abuse and filed for custody of my children. I was forced to put my child into foster care, for her own safety and to keep her away from Joan, while we fought the charges that Joan filed against us. My husband and I were proved innocent of all charges that were asserted by Joan. I have court documents to prove that statement. I moved my family far away from Joan. All this was in 1981/82! But you Doctor did not check the facts but instead gave credibility to Joan’s lies…stating so in your review!

Joan manipulated you into writing to my sister Kathy, who lives in England, in the 1990s. That episode of Joan’s was over money that was already paid to Joan for services she never did for Kathy. Joan blames everything and everyone for her own inabilities and in this case Joan was also guilty of stealing! But, you Doctor, on behalf of Joan, wrote a very intimidating and condescending letter to my sister, who was blameless and the victim of Joan’s and then was victimized again by you!  You did not check the facts!  (Ruth’s note: please see the post Joan Wheeler LIES about Dr. Rene Hoksbergen in her book Forbidden Family  to see actual scanned and posted documents: Dr. Hoksbergen’s letter to Kathy, where he says it would cost around $500.00 for Joan to ship things to her in the UK; a letter from Joan acknowledging that she had already recieved monies to do the shipping; AND the actual invoices from my father totaling around $150.00 that my father paid out of HIS pocket to ship the items, this AFTER Joan received the money from Kathy, then never repaid. This was clearly an extortion attempt by Joan Wheeler, and she used her “dear” friend to try to extort money from Kathy).

In Joan’s book, she has a total fabrication of lies about your meeting my sister Ruth, her husband and other members of my family in the 1990s. You, Doctor, were never in Ruth’s home, never met her husband and never had the conversations that Joan’s asserts that you did have! Did you really meet my father as Joan states? Did you check your facts before you wrote the review of this book? You really ought to read chapter 25, very enlightening! Joan portrays you as being ‘a very dear friend’, how dear Doctor?

Joan also lies and fabricates in the book about Joe Soll, whom I have already contacted about those lies. Mr. Soll says that what is in the book, about him, is ‘patently false’. (Ruth’s note: see the post: HIGH ALERT EVIDENCE of Joan Wheeler’s lies FROM A PERSON IN AN ADOPTION REFORM ORGANIZATION   to see the email exchange between Gert McQueen and Mr. Soll).  My sisters and I have already written about these episodes of lies and fabrications on our web blog; we encourage you to read them. To narrow down the search for you, in the following dates you are mentioned on our blog, Jan 7, March 27, June 28 and Sept 23. We are of course not completed with our review, refuting and rebuttals of this book of lies!

When did you, Doctor, last read the manuscript? Did you read it before or after the 2006 date of the foreword? Joan had updated and revised much in the manuscript since then, even noting so on page 410 dated March 2008. And on page 416 she states she was 53. She was 53 in 2009 the year the book was published! For you to assume the correction of facts in the book, without interviewing family members, is a gross misuse of your position in the world of Adoption Reform!

Our father saw a revision about 2008 and said that it was a ‘piece of garbage and she will never finish it’. Joan is still revising it, on her web site! Shortly after seeing the 2008 revision, my father was forced, again, to remove Joan from his presence because of her intense manipulation and confrontations towards him. 

What Joan has done, and with your approval Doctor, is to have taken a very tragic family situation, the death of a mother and the adoption out of an infant and has used it to exploit that tragedy for the pursuit of fame, fortune and personal gratification with total disregard for the reputations of members of birth and adoptive families. For this Joan ought to be utterly ashamed. For your part in this Doctor you ought to ashamed. Do you have any idea of the pain that your lack of professionalism, by not checking out the facts, has done to members of the two families of Joan? You have no right to insinuate yourself into any position of knowing what happened to my family! We did not give you permission!

Since 1982, I have had two contacts, one physical in 1992 and one phone call in 2005 or 06, with Joan, both times were attempts, on my part to reconcile with her, but at both times, after she smiled to my face, as soon as my back was turned, she betrayed me. For her to have truly welcomed my love as a sister, who wanted to reconcile with her, would have meant that Joan could not publish her ‘life’s work’, the book and that is unthinkable to Joan. So instead of reconciling she continued to betray myself and others, by publishing a book of lies and garbage! It is only since the publication of this book of lies that I have spoken out. I shall continue to do so until Joan pulls the book from all sales. That book and Joan’s activities are a disgrace to the honor of two families.

I, and my sisters, ask that you print a retraction of your foreword and review of this book. We also ask that you stop promoting this book as factual, for it is a product of a Joan’s diseased mind.

This letter, along with a copy of my paragraph-by-paragraph review of your review, will be posted on our blog and is being sent to a select list of adoption reform agencies or persons. In the past Joan has accused me of sending letters to many adoption agencies. I never did that, but now I MUST to demand that my and my family’s, good name be restored to us.

Thank you, Gert McQueen

 ~~~~~~~Gert McQueen’s comments on this review are in bold itatic.

Review of Joan Wheeler’s book Forbidden Family by Rene Hoksbergen in LAVAContact2  2010 English translation.

This autobiographical study of Joan Wheeler read with the necessary tension on the way things will go. Despite the extensive and detailed description of the many events and feelings over a period of almost fifty years.

This book is a detailed description of a tormented individual that has a great need to have the world fit her delusions. No one lives in a vacuum and by the very nature of writing about one’s own inner demons it becomes very subjective in nature and all peoples in it must fit that subjective mindset. The ‘necessary tension’ is the result of the author’s inabilities to accept life as life was given to her. The ‘extensive and detailed description’ is just over-kill and only points to a mentally unbalanced individual. Perhaps if the author actually lived a life instead of always writing ‘the book’ she and it would not be so full of torment!

It consists of two parts. The autobiography of Joan and then part two with lots of information about the American adoption history and its current situation. In this second part she makes her findings and suggestions for improvements.

Part 1, is full of sensationalized drama, with intent to sell the story, the book! The author uses, extensively, the techniques of exaggeration and hyperbole along with fabrications and outright lies. 38 chapters consisting of 569 pages are devoted to the study of the autobiography of Joan’s tormented views!

Part 2, which ought to be the more useful part of any written material intended for adoption reform, consists of only 6 chapters with a total of 62 pages! And there are no ‘suggestions’ from the author. She is a militant angry adoptee that is very hostile to anyone who adopts!

And how much does a person have to spend for this study of one person’s tormented life? Around $50.00! A person, spending a few hours on the Internet, could come up with the same source materials in this book and save themselves the money.

Joan was born in Buffalo . Her mother died shortly after her birth and her father decided to give her away to a distant relative without children. He has already four children, three daughters and one son, this fifth child can’t be taken care by him. In 1956, when this takes place, adoption in the US (and also in our country) is a taboo subject. Birth certificates are falsified, the child is sometimes very late or not informed about the adoption and many know the facts and family relationships, some don’t, as the case of Joan.

My father didn’t know about the adoptive parents being any sort of ‘distant relative’; he was in the middle of a tragedy! My father’s decisions do not have to be explained or justified. The adoptive parents also do not have to justify or explain their reasons for adopting. Throughout this book the author details, over and over again, how she had browbeaten, intimidated, condemned, and used all sorts of methods to get all parents to ‘apology’ to her for her being adopted! My god!

When she becomes 18 years old, she’s suddenly called by her eldest sister. Her three sisters were from when Joan suddenly disappeared from the family informed of the status of adoption and also of her destination. They had always wanted to know how she was doing and now she’s eighteen and formal adult, they can contact her. From this call Joan’s life has been put upside down. She describes her reactions, of the adoptive parents and how her birth family, her father and siblings deal with it.

Life, being as it is as it unfolds, is full of surprises; who would have guessed that the author would choose to condemn both families for wanting her and then go out of her way to make everyone’s life miserable with her dirty double dealings and lies! It makes me ill to read, the almost 600 pages, of pure mental garbage that the author describes herself and everyone related to her.

Against the background of all the facts around the reunion and the further development of contacts she tells clearly and gripping the progress of other aspects in her life, her school life, marriage, becomes mother of two children, the death of her adoptive father, dealing with friends, the care of her adoptive mother and only child, and many others. It is a moving description of the history of an American woman and her two families.

Gripping is not a word I’d use to describe how the author tells about aspects of her life. Soap opera dramatics is how the author details her life; every little thing is overblown so that when real troubles occur they are exaggerated to show how horrible a life she has, because she is adopted! “A moving description”, only if you are addicted to soap opera drama!

But gradually it becomes clear that the reunion in her life especially got a negative impact. There is sexual abuse of her by one of her sisters, intense feelings of jealously, aggression and ignorance towards Joan. The father tires desperately, sometimes successfully but often not, to compromise between his children. Joan herself also got a fierce nature. At the same time her adoptive mother initially responds very negative to her writings about adoption in various newspapers and increasingly in book form. Mother has a strong possessiveness towards her adopted child, Joan.

Negative impact, cause by the author herself! As I’ve stated in my letter to Doctor Hoksbergen, there was no sexual abuse from me to the author. That is purely a cover-up story to take away from a real incident that the author wanted and then retaliated, when things didn’t go her way, with a cover-up story. She makes her mistake, of letting out the truth, via her own lying; liars never remember the original lie. Page 220 contains a very important element to this lie of sexual abuse and points to the ‘cover up story’! But, you will have to read my own extensive comments on this once its posted on our web blog under the title ‘facts are stubborn things’. I suggest everyone check out and read our blog frequently to know the truth of all that the author details, for indeed, it will take a few more months for all our refuting of this book!

The ‘intense feelings of jealously, aggression and ignorance’ is not towards Joan but is what Joan feels herself and projects onto everyone else. If someone does not fit into her ‘inner world reality’ they are ‘out to get her’ and she has no limits to what she will do to get you! “Fierce nature” and “strong possessiveness” don’t begin to describe the sick relationship between adopted mother and adoptee.

 Precisely because of its negative experiences Joan has decided twenty years ago, to write down her life story. She is also an adoption activist. She vehemently rails against the practice adopted in the US. She fights against the fraudulent nature, against hypocrisy, market characteristics, the closed nature of many adoptions that still continues, even against anonymous sperm and egg donors. Many times you see her at conferences, and so I made her acquaintance, her story. In the adoption world in the USA she’s well known.

When was this review actually written? The Doctor wrote the foreword in 2006 and according to the author she began writing her book in 1970’s. So by 2006 it was already close to 40 years not 20. So why have an outdated ‘review’ published now, in 2010? Precisely because it is now about one year since the book was published. This ‘review’ is a staged occurrence, it happens in the publishing world to boost sales!

She is no activist but yes she ‘vehemently rails against adoption’ to the point of not only obsession but condemnation of anyone adopting any child for any reason. Sounds more like she ought get a job with the Inquisition! She is well known in the adoption world? Pity those people!

The book is a very informative story about how an adopted deals with secrecy, how decisions are made for her, the struggle with feelings of loyalty, the reunion and contacts with biological family of both mothers and father’s side. She describes her emotional reactions openly and honestly.

This sounds as if the author wrote it for the reviewer!

It is an exciting and very well written story about the weak position of an adopted child. English is relatively simple and remain legible.

It is not written well and moves around, in space and time, as to be almost intentional misleading the reader. It is pathetic in its subjective portrayal of a weak mentally ill person. I don’t buy into the idea that because a person is adopted they are weak! They are weak because they choose to be so!

For adoptees and adoptive parents, I would recommend this book highly.

I, having actually read the thing, would recommend you use this book in the bathroom, if you were not worry about contamination from the printed words. You would be better off reading the birth sisters web blog to get a better well-rounded view of this author.

1. chayeletOctober 14, 2010

I fully endorse Gert’s statements here. Kathy Inglis.

2. RuthOctober 15, 2010

I also fully endorse Gert’s statements. – Ruth Sippel Pace



1. chayelet - October 14, 2010

I fully endorse Gert’s statements here. Kathy Inglis

2. Ruth - October 15, 2010

I also fully endorse Gert’s statements. – Ruth Sippel Pace

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