Archive for December, 2009|Monthly archive page

New Jersey dad’s Brazilian in-laws keep fighting

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on December 30, 2009 at 8:18 pm

If the grandparents from Brazil do show up in the United States (they never will) one can only hope that the US government and the FBI takes a lead role in the prosecution of violations of US Code against family kidnappings and conspiracy to kidnap that “protective parents” deserve.

New Jersey dad’s Brazilian in-laws keep fighting

by Terry Hurlbut

In a development that practically no one saw coming, the Brazilian family of Sean Goldman, the boy who had been the center of a five-year international dispute arising out of the Hague Convention, has reneged on their earlier declaration of surrender and now says that they will continue their fight to have the boy become a permanent resident of Brazil. But exactly what recourse remains to them under international law remained far from clear.

// // Silvana Bianchi, the mother of Bruna Bianchi, who brought her son to Brazil five years ago for a “two-week vacation” that never ended, announced today, through her attorneys, that she will continue to sue for permanent custody of Sean Goldman, their previous declaration of surrender notwithstanding, according to the Associated Press. Last week, after the Chief Justice of Brazil ordered the boy returned to his father, Bianchi wrote a desperate letter to the President of Brazil, asking him to intervene personally and reminding him that grandparents often assume custody of minor children whose parents have died.

Today Bianchi asked the Supreme Court of Brazil to allow Sean to testify in a Brazilian court as to his wishes and desires regarding which family he would prefer to live with. The Supreme Court denied that request, but the full Court has not heard the matter, because it is in recess. The full Court will reconvene in February of 2010.

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abductions does state that an abducted child–that is, one taken from one country to another without the permission of the custodial parent in the country of origin–may object to a return to country of origin, and make that objection known in open court, if he is old and mature enough to give such evidence. Most international legal experts say that a child younger than the age of twelve is, by definition, not old enough within the meaning of the Hague Convention. Sean Goldman is nine years old.

More curiously still, Sean Goldman has now returned to the United States and, by this account on ABC-TV, is happy to be on American soil and in fact gives every sign of remembering the original family home from which he had been abducted, and even the family pet cat. (David Goldman, his father, had not moved in the interim.) The only sour note is that the boy has not yet taken to addressing his father as “Dad,” but that might still come.

Thus the Bianchi family is in the curious position of attempting to have a formerly abducted and now-returned child repatriated from the country of origin to the country of destination, a thing for which virtually no precedent exists in international law. Even if the Supreme Court of Brazil rules in Bianchi’s favor, an American court, and especially a New Jersey court, would have to rule on the applicability of such an order, and particularly on what power a foreign court would have to compel an American lawful resident, now on American soil, to appear before it.

Goldman’s attorney, Patricia Apy, said that the continued legal wrangling might affect what rights the Bianchis have to visit with the boy. As of this moment, no member of the Brazilian family has many any specific request to visit with Sean in the United States.

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via New Jersey dad’s Brazilian in-laws keep fighting.

House Divided: Hate Thy Father | Psychology Today

In adoption abuse, Alienation of Affection, Autism, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Civil Rights, CPS, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-IV, DSM-V, due process rights, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting on December 30, 2009 at 7:30 pm

House Divided: Hate Thy Father

In 1978, after Cathy Mannis and her future husband moved into the same cooperative at U.C. Berkeley, they ran into each other often. She was not immediately smitten. “I detested him at first, and I should have stayed with that feeling,” recalls Cathy Mannis of her now ex-husband. “He was overweight and always very critical. Then he lost weight, became cuter, and started paying attention to me. He was going to be a doctor and he seemed so trustworthy; he said he would never desert his family as his own father had done to him.” They started dating, and she ultimately cared for him enough to marry him. “I thought he’d be a good father, and I was dying to be a mother. I thought we’d have a good life.”

She worked full-time as a legal secretary to put him through medical school. She also bought the two of them a town house with money she’d saved before marriage. When she gave birth to a boy, Matt (not his real name), she was as happy as she’d ever been. Over time, she saw signs that her husband was cheating on her, but she always forgave him.

Their second son, Robby, was born autistic, and things went downhill fast. The boy had speech and learning problems and was frequently out of control. Her husband was appalled. “He’s dumber than a fish,” he said.

Still, they had one more child, Harry (the name has been changed), hoping to give Matt a sibling without Robby’s problems. Harry turned out normal, but he bonded most closely with Robby; they became inseparable.

When Cathy once again became convinced her husband was cheating—he inexplicably never came home one night—she finally threw him out. He filed for divorce before she could forgive him again.

Cathy was granted primary custody of the kids, and her ex soon married the woman he’d been seeing on the side. Because of all she had to do to help Robby as well as her other two kids, Cathy could no longer hold a full-time job. Meanwhile, her ex declared two bankruptcies and, at one point, even mental disability, all of which kept alimony payments to a trickle.

Eventually Cathy was so broke that her electricity was turned off; she and the boys ate dinner by candlelight. Then she became so ill she had to be hospitalized for life-threatening surgery. She had no choice but to leave the kids with her ex. “He promised to return them when my health and finances improved,” she says.

That was almost seven years ago. Her health has long since returned and she has a good job she can do from home, but the only child ever restored to her, despite nonstop court battles, was Robby. In fact, her ex got the courts to rule that the children should be permanently separated, leaving the other two children with him, since Robby was a “threat” to his younger brother’s well-being.

Through all those years, Cathy says she faced a campaign of systematic alienation from Matt and Harry. “When I called to speak to them, I was usually greeted with coldness or anger, and often the boys weren’t brought to the phone. Then my ex sent letters warning me not to call them at home at all. Whenever the kids came to stay with me, they’d report, ‘Dad says you’re evil. He says you wrecked the marriage.’ ” Then he moved thousands of miles away, making it vastly more difficult for her to see her children.

As time has passed, the boys have increasingly pulled away. Matt, now grown and serving in the military, never speaks to Cathy. Thirteen-year-old Harry used to say, “Mommy, why can’t I stay with you? All the other kids I know live with their moms,” before leaving visits with her. Now he often appears detached from her and uninterested in Robby, whom he once adored. His friends at his new home think his stepmother is his mom, because that’s how she introduces herself. “She told me she would take my kids, and she did. The alienation is complete,” rues Cathy. “All I ever wanted was to be a mom.”

Divorcing parents have long bashed each other in hopes of winning points with kids. But today, the strategy of blame encompasses a psychological concept of parental alienation that is increasingly used—and misused—in the courts.

On the one hand, with so many contentious divorces, parents like Cathy Mannis have been tragically alienated from the children they love. On the other hand, parental alienation has been seized as a strategic tool in custody fights, its effects exploited in the courtroom, often to the detriment of loving parents protecting children from true neglect or abuse. With the impact of alienation so devastating—and false accusations so prevalent—it may take a judge with the wisdom of Solomon to differentiate between the two faces of alienation: a truly toxic parent and his or her victimized children versus manipulation of the legal system to claim damage where none exists.

A Symptom Of Our Time?

Disturbed by the potential for alienation, many divorce courts have today instituted aggressive steps to intervene where they once just stood by. And with good reason: Alienation is ruinous to all involved. “In pathological or irrational alienation, the parent has done nothing to deserve that level of hatred or rejection from the child,” explains University of Texas psychologist Richard Warshak, author of Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond from a Vindictive Ex. “It often seems to happen almost overnight, and neither the rejected parent nor even the rejecting child understands why.”

Often, in fact, it’s the emotionally healthier parent who gets rejected, Warshak adds. That parent tends to understand that it’s not in the child’s best interests to lose the other parent. In contrast, the alienating parent craves revenge against the ex—then uses the child to exact that punishment. “It’s a form of abuse,” Warshak says. “Both parent and child are victims.”

House Divided: Hate Thy Father | Psychology Today.

Working with Alienated Children & Their Targeted Parents: Suggestions for Sound Practices for Mental Health Professionals « Parental Alienation Support

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on December 29, 2009 at 7:58 pm

Working with Alienated Children & Their Targeted Parents: Suggestions for Sound Practices for Mental Health Professionals

By Amy J.L. Baker, PhD, and Katherine Andre, PhD

Robert O’Block, Publisher, Annals of the American Psychotherapy Association

Divorce affects one million new children every year. Of these children, approximately 20% of their parents remain in conflict, with little, if any, cooperation (Garrity & Baris, 1994; Kelly, 2005). When children get caught in the middle of parental conflict, they are at risk for many psychosocial problems, including alignment with one parent against the other (e.g., Amato, 1994; Johnston, 1994; Wallerstein, Lewis, & Blakeslee, 2001; Wallerstein & Blakeslee, 1996). Especially problematic is when the alignment becomes so entrenched that children join forces with one parent to completely reject and denigrate the other, once-loved parent (Darnall, 1998; Wallerstein & Kelly 1980; Warshak, 2001).

Parents who encourage such alignments employ parental alienation (PA) strategies designed to turn a child against the other, targeted parent. The alienating parent is often filled with hatred, blame, anger, and shame and lacks awareness of the separate and independent needs of the children to have a relationship with the other parent (Ellis, 2005; Gardner, 1998; Rand, 1997). Through various strategies such as bad-mouthing, limiting contact, belittling, and withdrawing love, the alienating parent creates the impression that the targeted parent is dangerous, unloving, or unworthy, thus compelling the child to reject that parent (Baker, 2007a; Baker & Darnall, 2006). At its most extreme, when a child completely rejects the targeted parent, the result is referred to as severe alienation or parental alienation syndrome (PAS) (Gardner, 1998).

Mental health providers are among the first professionals to whom the targeted parents of alienated children turn to for help for their children or to whom courts refer for answers to accusations of brainwashing (Ellis, 2000). These parents and courts count on therapists to help whether it is to prevent continuing litigation in clogged courtrooms, or to intervene with counseling, as well as to give the parents supportive tools to repair and sustain the parent-child relationship. Because therapists are one of the first resources courts and parents use, they must be knowledgeable in the field of parental alienation and high-conflict divorce. They must be able to tolerate conflicting data from parents and children while searching for emotional truth within the children being counseled (Vestal, 1999). Along the same lines, Wallerstein insightfully comments in her forward to Marquardt’s (2005) book Between Two Worlds that what is needed is “an honest recognition of the experience of children” (p. xvii). In order to more honestly recognize and understand the experience of these children, mental health professionals must begin with the available knowledge that they currently have, incomplete as it is. To delay treatment due to incomplete information would be akin to a medical doctor refusing to treat a bleeding patient because he or she did not know what had caused the wound, and thus, by his or her refusal to treat the wound, the patient bleeds to death.

Working with Alienated Children & Their Targeted Parents: Suggestions for Sound Practices for Mental Health Professionals « Parental Alienation Support.

California Men’s Centers, San Diego » Blog Archive » Parental Alienation is Kidnapping

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation on December 28, 2009 at 12:21 am

Parental Alienation is Kidnapping

Currently our laws grossly ignore parental alienation as nothing more than an act of absconding (ie, running away). However, running away means to take oneself. Abduction and kidnapping means to take someone else. Most children are too young or too used to going with a parent that they are unaware that any crime is being committed and in many cases are brainwashed into thinking that they were being abused.

ABSCOND – Etymology: Latin abscondere to hide away, from abs- + condere to store up, conceal Date: circa 1578 :
1 : to depart secretly and hide oneself

ABDUCT – Etymology: Latin abductus, past participle of abducere, literally, to lead away, from ab- + ducere to lead Date: 1825
1 : to seize and take away (as a person) by force
2 : to draw or spread away (as a limb or the fingers) from a position near or parallel to the median axis of the body or from the axis of a limb

Currently in most states, courts and law enforcement reduce the act of parental alienation to nothing more than a civil matter that is misclassified as absconding. Any parent and child(ren) who has been through parental alienation know that it is nothing shy of abduction, kidnapping and in some cases holding a child for ransom.

As you can see from the Webster dictionary definitions it is clear that to abscond is to “hide oneself” where abduct is “to seize and take away.” Many children are not old enough to know what is happening to them and therefore the act of parental alienation is a gross injustice. Currently this biased view gives unjust enrichment and discriminatory power to one parent. By simply creating the custody order at the time of birth you can resolve nearly 100% all of parental alienations and reduce courts caseload dramatically because you have removed a HUGE grey area that plague parents, children, law enforcement and the courts.

Parental Alienation is just starting to be recognized as a serious form child and spousal abuse and therefore I must ask that we give children and both biological parents the justice that they deserve. Our children are more than “just a civil matter”; they are humans who rate human rights, they are children who rate biological rights and they are citizens who should be protected by our states and above all else our nation. Our current child support system, our courts, and attorneys are given the power and authority to hold children hostage for money.

I am calling for revisions to all U.S. Federal, State and Local Codes to reflect that acts of parental alienation are felony acts of child abduction and/or kidnapping as may apply to each case.

Many acts of parental alienation are malicious acts of vengeance against the other spouse and therefore need to be judged according to the time a child is kept from the other biological parent barring true and just cause. Limiting the amount of time that a child can be kept from visitation, communication and other legal rights that both biological parents possess would help reduce the courts case loads.

Stephen Ricket

California Men’s Centers, San Diego » Blog Archive » Parental Alienation is Kidnapping.

A Classic Case of Parental Alienation says Goldman

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, children legal status, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, kidnapped children, Marriage, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents on December 24, 2009 at 6:45 pm

“Barry Goldman described their actions as a classic case of parental alienation.”

Many parent kidnap their children both internationally, but also in great numbers here in the United States. Right now, the US State Department estimates that there are 3,000 cases of US citizens/children kidnapped to other countries.

But in the United States, how many moms and dads take their kids in direct defiance of court orders, poison children’s minds against the fathers, sometimes mothers? It must be in the hundreds of thousands, and over the past decade, millions of children have been Parental Alienated from the other parent.  Who’s to blame, parents mainly, but the vase majority of cases arise out of false allegations of abuse, and the misuse/abuse  DV restraining orders to gain the advantage in child custody cases.

A relieved grandfather hears Sean Goldman’s voice: “Hi, Pop Pop”


Barry Goldman got his Christmas present this morning when he heard his grandson Sean Goldman simply say into the phone, “Hi, Pop Pop.”

Those words were all he wanted to hear.

“It was great. It was wonderful to hear his voice,” Barry Goldman said. “I’m so excited. I’m going to get to hug him, kiss him, and have fun with my grandson.”


Barry’s son David Goldman won custody of his 9-year-old son Sean earlier this morning after his now-deceased ex-wife’s family handed the boy over to him after a 4 1/2-year legal struggle to get the boy back from her relatives in Brazil.

“I couldn’t have hoped for a better gift for the holidays – this is the best,” Barry Goldman told reporters outside his home in the Wayside section of Ocean Township, Monmouth County.

Barry Goldman got a phone call early this morning from his son, David, reporting Sean was with him.

“I’m thrilled. (David) is thrilled, and it seems like (Sean) is thrilled to be coming home,” Barry Goldman said of his brief exchange of words with his son and grandson.

The family of David Goldman’s ex-wife turned the boy over about 25 minutes before the 9 a.m. deadline this morning. It’s been nearly five years since Barry Goldman last saw his grandson, when they said their good-byes at a send-off breakfast at a Little Silver restaurant as the boy and his mother were headed off for what was supposed to be a 2-week vacation in Brazil.

Mother and son never returned.

Bruna Goldman, Sean’s mother, who became known as Bruna Lins e Silva after she remarried in Brazil, died on Aug. 22, 2008 after giving birth to a baby girl in Rio de Janeiro. Her Brazilian husband and his family have kept Sean in Brazil since then.

Barry Goldman described their actions as a classic case of parental alienation.

“They’ve been working on him (Sean) to not want to come back, but it didn’t work,” Barry Goldman said.

With Sean on his way back to New Jersey, Barry Goldman said he wanted to get away from the past and start looking toward the future.

“He used to run around the room and try to knock me down, but he couldn’t. But he probably can now. He’s bigger and I’ve gotten smaller,” Barry Goldman quipped with reporters as he talked about his desire to see Sean return to a normal life.

“He’s going to be a real American boy,” Barry Goldman predicted.

“I can’t wait to get a new picture of him like I have of my other grandchildren,” Barry Goldman said while he held up a picture of Sean as a 4-year-old and a baseball card photograph of another grandchild. “He’s the right age for Little League.”

A relieved grandfather hears Sean Goldman’s voice: “Hi, Pop Pop” | APP.com | Asbury Park Press.

More Hate from the Anononymums

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parents rights on December 24, 2009 at 6:00 pm

This is the only post we have seen expressing HATRED for the fact that a little boy was reunited with the father. Of course, the writer of the hate piece is none other than claudine dombrowski, who does not believe Parental Alienation is real.

Typical behavior from someone with Borderline Personality Disorder.

Notice she only focuses on the “best interest of the woman”, no mention of the child.  Poor battered me.

I am sure that the remaining dozen hate sites will pick up her post and repost it in a typical “Sybil attack.”

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Media Bias — the Sean Goldman Brazil abduction stories -justice’s posterous

The New York Times and Rep. Chris Smith say: “The boy was taken to Brazil in 2004 by the woman who was Mr. Goldman’s wife at the time…” So much for throwing the parent card. That wasn’t “the woman who was Mr. Goldman’s wife”.  That was the little boy’s MOTHER, who bore this child, and who took him home, away from the New Jersey she hated, and into the bosom of her extended family, where she herself had grown up. The Goldmans did not meet and commence their relationship in New Jersey.  They only married and settled there once Bruna already was pregnant with Sean. Had Goldman been reasonable and allowed the child’s mother to go home as she had begged to do, and to retain custody of the baby she risked her life to bring into the world, he would not have a complaint now about having been cut off. But selfishly, he did not do that.

“…relatives of Mr. Goldman’s ex-wife, who died last year, were exploring legal options that would enable them to keep Sean…” Once again, “ex-wife” is used instead of “mother”. Motherhood is invisible. The relatives are described as if they are strangers, rather than the beloved family members and home this child understandably does not want to leave. They include blood relatives of the child, with whom he has lived for nearly his entire childhood memory with his mother, who recently — ironically — died in childbirth.

Pandering Rep. Smith has called David Goldman the “primary caregiver” and the child’s “best friend”, again ignoring the woman who gave birth to the child and actually was the child’s closest attachment. http://www.nytimes.com/2009/12/23/world/americas/23rio.html

Is the situation painful and difficult? Of course. But propaganda does not help. While the U.S. press and politicos condemn Bruna for bringing her baby with her to Brazil, and now also condemn the boy’s real emotional family for wanting to protect him, the same media ignore that what the father seeks to do to this child who just lost his mother is exponentially worse. Notwithstanding the ignorant peanut galleries who chime along in favor of men’s rights to declare where their chattel women and the children they bear must reside, mothers of children who are abducted from them don’t seem to get Congressional Resolutions or incessant international media coverage. That apparently is reserved mainly for mothers AS abductors. The expedient application of a faux gender neutrality to parentage primarily for the benefit of fathers’ rights is Orwellian.

Technorati Tags: Bias,Sean,Goldman,Brazil,abduction,justice,York,Times,Chris,Smith,woman,wife,parent,card,MOTHER,Jersey,Goldmans,relationship,Bruna,custody,life,world,complaint,Once,memory,David,friend,attachment,situation,propaganda,father,rights,children,Congressional,coverage,gender,parentage,Orwellian,options,strangers,members,galleries,fathers

Posted by Claudine Dombrowski at 8:52 PM

Brazil Family Won’t Appeal Goldman Custody – CBS News

In Family Rights on December 23, 2009 at 10:16 pm

The Brazilian family of 9-year-old Sean Goldman won’t appeal a court-ordered custody transfer and are planning a “peaceful transition” of the boy to his American father, a representative for the family’s lawyer told CBS News Wednesday.

The announcement out of attorney Sergio Tostes’ office paves the way the father-son reunion after Brazil’s chief justice ruled Tuesday that Sean should be turned over to David Goldman in a decision that appeared to bring the case in line with international custody accords.

“This is now an enforcement issue, where the Brazilian government needs to fascilitate the transfer of Sean Goldman from the abductors to his one-and-only father, David Goldman,” Rep. Chris Smith (R, N.J.), told “Early Show” co-anchor Maggie Rodriguez Wednesday. “Abduction … needs to be seen for what it is — a very serious human rights abuse. Sean deserves to be with his dad.”

Smith, an ardent backer of David Goldman’s cause, flew to Rio to be with Goldman.

In a broadcast interview Wednesday morning, Goldman expressed hope he would soon be able to take his son home for good, but remained wary, as previous court rulings in his favor had been repeatedly appealed.

“When? When? When will Sean and I be able to go home, father and son?” he asked in an interview aired NBC.

Sean was taken by Goldman’s now-deceased ex-wife to her native Brazil in 2004, where he has remained. Goldman, of Tinton Falls, N.J., has been fighting to get him back from the boy’s stepfather.

Both the U.S. and Brazilian governments have said the matter clearly fell under the Hague Convention, which seeks to ensure that custody decisions are made by the courts in the country where a child originally lived – in this case, the United States.

Goldman’s New Jersey-based lawyer, Patricia Apy, said Tuesday she believed the order by Supreme Court Chief Justice Gilmar Mendes required Sean to be handed over immediately, but she said Goldman’s attorneys had not heard from lawyers for the Brazilian family at the time.

Rep. Smith told reporters Tuesday David Goldman was “elated” when he heard of Mendes’ ruling, adding, “A big smile came to his face, but he said ‘I’m not going to let my guard down until it’s wheels-up.’ ”

Goldman launched his case in U.S. and Brazilian courts after Sean was taken by his mother to Brazil, where she then divorced Goldman and remarried. She died last year in childbirth, and the boy has lived with his stepfather since.

A lawyer specializing in the Hague Convention said Tuesday’s decision by Mendes was the only right one to make.

“It would be virtually impossible to reconcile international law with a ruling in favor of the Brazilian family,” said Greg Lewen of the Miami-based law firm Fowler White Burnett.

He said that if the Hague Convention were not followed by the chief justice, “the State Department should immediately issue a travel advisory warning parents not to go to Brazil with their children.”

Smith, the congressman, said the fact that the Brazilian chief justice ruled Sean should be with his father would take the steam out of any appeal from the stepfather, himself a lawyer from a prominent family of Rio de Janeiro attorneys.

During a teleconference with U.S. journalists late Tuesday, Smith said law enforcement was on guard in case the Brazilian family did not transfer Sean. He said the international police agency Interpol had been notified to make sure Sean was not flown out of Brazil.

“Our hope is, given the prominence of this family in legal circles, that’s less likely to happen,” Smith said.

And the word from Tostes Wednesday indicated those fears would probably prove unfounded.

Silvana Bianchi, Sean’s maternal grandmother, had written an open letter to Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva just hours before the Tuesday ruling, in which she said cultural differences and international pressure were driving the case.

“Our moral foundation values the mother’s role. In the absence of the mother, the raising should be done by the grandmother,” she wrote. “That’s how it’s done in Brazil, from north to south, regardless of race, religion or social class. It’s natural that foreigners, with a different foundation, would not understand these authentically Brazilian feelings.”

Meanwhile, Goldman has said his parents and other relatives have been waiting for years to be reunited with Sean.

Silva has said he would not intervene in the case, that it was purely a matter for Brazil’s legal system.

The case has affected diplomatic ties between Brazil and the United States, as the U.S. State Department applied pressure for the boy to be returned. President Barack Obama and Silva have discussed the matter.

Last week, U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg, of New Jersey, reacted to the case by blocking renewal of a trade bill that benefits more than 130 countries, including Brazi, by allowing them to export a variety of products duty-free to the United States. Brazil is the fifth-largest beneficiary from the duty-free provision, receiving an estimated $2.75 billion in benefits last year, according to Lautenberg’s office.

Lautenberg lifted the hold after Tuesday’s ruling in Brazil and the U.S. Senate quickly passed the trade measure.

© MMIX, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Brazil Family Won’t Appeal Goldman Custody – CBS News.

Brazilian Family Concedes Defeat: Sean Goldman Home by Christmas? – TIME

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on December 23, 2009 at 7:11 pm
Now begins the long term de-brainwashing of this little boy from the hands of this family that held him hostage for so long. What will be interesting to find out, is how much he was told his real father did not love, abandonded him, etc. that is typical of brainwashing in families that kidnap then lie to children.

Brazilian Family Concedes Defeat: Sean Goldman Home by Christmas?

read original post:    Brazilian Family Concedes Defeat: Sean Goldman Home by Christmas? – TIME.

Tips for co-parenting with a Sociopath

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Marriage, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on December 21, 2009 at 5:54 pm

LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Tips for co-parenting with a sociopath

Lovefraud received the following e-mail from a woman who we’ll call “Penny.” She’s been in a custody battle with the father of her child, who she believes is a sociopath. Although Penny has been able to gain full physical and legal custody of the child, and has a restraining order against the father, he still has visitation so Penny must deal with child exchanges. She’s provided the following tips for others who are in similar situations.

1. STAY STRONG IN GOD! I know that this is difficult at times because I myself have been tried so much. Go to church regularly and tell the pastor(s) and counselors at your church what you are dealing with and ask them and the congregation to pray for you. Pray and read your Bible. If you are not religious you might want to try this out anyway or meditate to bring peace to your soul. It is absolutely necessary that you find some peace in a situation that is utter chaos and dysfunction.

2. DO NOT TAKE THEIR BAIT! I have read on several websites (including this one), and books like The Sociopath Next Door, by Dr. Martha Stout, and also Without Conscience, by Dr. Robert Hare, that stress this very point. I found this out the hard way and have learned from experience that this only adds to the problem because the sociopath is often trying to get a reaction out of you. Reacting or retaliating against the sociopath only fuels the fire. Although it might sound cliché, one can only truly and successfully fight evil with goodness, especially in this case.

3. DOCUMENT EVERYTHING! Sociopaths (as my ex is) are pathological liars and are bound to contradict themselves in their stories. Thorough logs of all events with the sociopath and also supporting documents such as emails, police documents, medical records, court documents, etc., can all be of help when dealing with a sociopath in a situation such as this. When the time is right (sometimes its smart to let time go by so that the sociopath can implicate, perjure, and hang him/herself some more) you might decide to file the appropriate paperwork in court (i.e. Order to Show Cause for custody and visitation, declarations, motions for contempt of court, etc.) and attach the documents that you have been logging and saving as exhibits/evidence to your court papers (you can ask an attorney, paralegal, or family law self help center or other similar groups how to do this). If you have the financial resources, you might want to consider a deposition as another opportunity to let the animal perjure him/herself some more.

4. REQUEST EXPLICIT COURT ORDERS! I have found through personal experience that sociopaths will exploit and take advantage of any ambiguity or vagueness in court orders to create complete and utter chaos. You must push for detailed court orders when you go to court to prevent this from happening.

5. IF POSSIBLE, ASK THE COURT TO ARRANGE CHILD EXCHANGES AT LOCAL POLICE DEPARTMENTS! Doing this eliminates the opportunity of having to interact with the sociopath at your home or his/her home as well as other places that are easy for chaos to occur. Arrive at the exchange early and let the officers know that you are there for a child exchange (make sure you always have the court orders with you so that the police can see it if need be) and you can ask the desk officers if they can monitor the exchange.

6. HAVE PEOPLE OTHER THAN YOU THAT YOU TRUST AND ARE GOOD PEOPLE DO THE EXCHANGE OF YOUR CHILD(REN) IF POSSIBLE! Making yourself as invisible as possible might increase the chances of cutting the sociopath out of your life since he or she will no longer be able to see you sweat. Remember to always stay calm and collected when the sociopath tries to anger you (you can cry and vent in private) even and especially in court.

7. BE CAUTIOUS IN STATING THAT YOUR EX IS A SOCIOPATH! Many people, including the courts, child welfare organizations, lawyers, etc., are not familiar with this devastating disorder and as a result do not know how to respond properly to the warning signs (as many of us did not know how to until we were caught in a complex web of deception). Therefore, focus on proving the behavior of the sociopath in court using the strategies I suggested earlier and do not accuse your ex as being a sociopath in court. They will not take this seriously since you are probably not a professional licensed to make such a diagnosis.

8. PUSH FOR COMMUNICATION BETWEEN YOU AND THE EX TO BE THROUGH EMAIL ONLY WHEN YOU GO TO COURT! Communication using this vehicle of communication helps to eliminate the possibility of he said/she said. Websites such as www.ourfamilywizard.com are excellent because they provide an opportunity for you to communicate with your ex via email and all the communication is safe and secure and can easily be printed out (all emails also include the date and exact time the emails were sent and viewed by the other party and also include the time any printed emails are generated). Also, the website allows you to input your parenting schedules, input medical information for the child, and offers a journal, free children’s accounts to the child(ren) involved and can also offer professional accounts for minor’s counsel and possible others to oversee the account and monitor what is going on.


10. GET ALL INFORMATION STRAIGHT FROM THE SOURCE! Do not rely on any information the sociopath provides you. Always verify all information concerning the child or children with their doctors, teachers, counselors, etc. If possible have the child(ren’s) doctors, teachers, counselors, etc. document all information they give you.

11. DO NOT CUT THE SOCIOPATH ANY SLACK! Record and document any and all violations of court orders. Recording these violations may be helpful when you go to court.

12. HIRE AN EXPERIENCED COMPETENT ATTORNEY, AND IF POSSIBLE ONE THAT HAS EXPERIENCE IN DEALING WITH SOCIOPATHS OR OTHER SIMILAR PERSONALITY DISORDERS! Child custody cases involving sociopaths are complicated and need the skill, experience, and know-how of a professional.

13. TRUST YOUR GUT! Oftentimes, we doubt our intuitions when we shouldn’t. In my personal experience I found that there were warning signs but did not respond to them as I should have because I took the signs lightly. Likewise, when I was drawn into my ex’s net of deception and chaos, I knew something was wrong, and attempted to explain what I believed was wrong with my ex to my previous attorney, but the attorney did not understand and discouraged me from engrossing myself in research. She stated that doing so could help me to become emotionally and mentally unstable (the attorney did not have experience in dealing with such complex personalities and so did not know how to properly respond to my ex’s actions). I later decided to trust my gut and continued with my research. Through research, trial and error, I have learned how to better deal with my ex and I do not respond to his baits (my ex has accused me of being a sociopath and has falsely accused me of harassing him).

14. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF! Living well is truly the best revenge. As difficult as it may be, try not to let the sociopath make you a bitter, angry, mean person. Remember the ultimate goal of the sociopath is to frustrate you. Enjoy your child(ren) while they are with you and let them know that you love them. Listen to them and model what real love looks like while they are in your care. Let them see you in loving relationships with other people. Criticize their actions and not them in private and DO NOT talk badly about the other parent in their presence (this can give the other parent an opportunity to bring parental alienation charges against you); instead you can let them know that actions like the ones their parents are exhibiting are wrong and hurtful to others and that this behavior is undesirable. Also, don’t forget to eat (like I have in the past), exercise, sleep, and laugh! Do not under any circumstances allow the sociopath to rob you of your ability to laugh.

written by Donna AndersenPermalink

Lovefraud Blog » Blog Archive » LETTERS TO LOVEFRAUD: Tips for co-parenting with a sociopath.

Fighting for Liam: Father’s Custody Battle Continues – ABC News

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on December 20, 2009 at 1:57 am

Fighting for Liam: Michael McCarty Rails Against Italian Courts for Not Protecting Son

Italian Authorities Say They Can’t Locate Mom but She Made a Statement to ’20/20′

For most Americans, a trip to Italy means a romantic getaway. But for Michael McCarty, who has made more than 15 trips to Italy over the past two years, these treks have been anything but an escape.

Dad recalls all-too-real fear that ex-wife would abscond with boy to Italy.

That’s because he is desperately trying to bring back what means the most to him in the world: his 8-year-old son, Liam. McCarty’s ex-wife, Manuela Antonelli, took Liam to her native country more than two years ago, and he’s been fighting to get him back ever since.

After hitting continual roadblocks and runarounds in Italy, McCarty went public with his story this summer.

“This is the most serious business that one can undertake,” said McCarty, 48. “I’m here to save my son.”

Watch the full story Friday on “20/20” at 10 p.m. ET

It was 1990 when Michael first introduced himself in New York to a beautiful woman from Italy. Her name: Manuela Antonelli.

“I sort of bucked up my courage and walked up to her and started talking, and asked her what her phone number was, which I still remember, because it was hard to forget,” said McCarty, chuckling.

A first date led to a romance and, two years later, to an intimate wedding in Central Park.

“She was very vivacious, energetic. A lot of presence,” said McCarty. “She was sometimes kinda kooky, and that was — we were young. It was attractive.”


McCarty was a graduate of the Yale School of Drama and a photographer with a passion for Italy who started his own fine-art printing studio. Manuela had experience as a television producer and reporter for an Italian television network.

Times were good. But times change.

“She went through some episodes of depression,” said McCarty. “She started having bad anxiety attacks. We tried some couple counseling, we couldn’t seem to get it together. She actually one day told me that she was in love with somebody else. So we were separated.”

Manuela’s fling didn’t last, but the separation did. But just as their lives seemed to be drifting apart, fate drew the couple together again.

“We saw each other a few times and spent some time together,” said McCarty. “She became pregnant. … Once it happens, it happens. Then it’s a little person and nothing else matters. … I spent as much time as I could with him. I was fully available for anything to take care of him at any time.”

McCarty’s close friend Rachel Berg saw how he nurtured his son.

“All of his focus has been on, ‘What can I do with Liam? What are we gonna do this weekend?'” said Berg.

“We always had a very tight bond, right from the beginning,” said McCarty.

But McCarty’s bond with Manuela Antonelli is now frayed beyond repair. The two tried to reconcile. It didn’t work. By 2003, McCarty began to suspect that Antonelli might take Liam away for good.

“She started kind of shuttling him back and forth between Italy and New York,” said McCarty. “Just spontaneously take him, and then spontaneously bring him back. And finally I got very concerned that she would take him there and not come back. So I finally filed for divorce here in New York, and sought joint custody.”

Divorce is rarely a simple matter. But McCarty still hoped the courts would provide him a way to end his marriage and continue his relationship with his son.

“That was all that I ever wanted was an equal partnership in raising my son,” said McCarty.

Fighting for Liam: Father’s Custody Battle Continues – ABC News.

California Section of American Psychological Association Recognizes Parental Alienation

In Family Rights on December 20, 2009 at 1:54 am

Comments on: Fighting for Liam: Michael McCarty Rails Against Italian Courts for Not Protecting Son

It is just a matter of time before the tide turns against mothers like Liam’s. To make false accusations against a father is criminal and should be punished. In California it is. Ask Marin County mothers who were caught alienating their children.

There are many attorneys that actively encourage their clients to lie in court, and many have done so with the sole purpose of stealing children away from fathers. Right now in the United States, 70 to 80 percent of custodial parents are women. Why?

Women are given the benefit of the doubt and like Liam’s mother have severe Personality Disorders that the DSM-IV currently includes. These include Borderline Personality Disorder, Histrionic Personality Disorder and Paranoid Personality Disorder.

Psychologists all agree that these three make up what is known as Parental Alienation.

Parental Alienation Syndrome is a combination of all three of these disorders and since these three are already recognized by the American Psychological Association, it naturally follows that the empirical evidences will follow.

The evidence being children abducted Internationally and Nationally in the United States. I have been told by many attorneys that Judges do recognize Parental Alienation and in the state of California it is a recognized science and recognized by the Judiciary.

In Marin County, California, an anti-Parental Alienation group known as the Center for Judicial Excellence has had its head handed to it THREE times in as many years and they attempt to call PAS or PA junk science. This went absolutely nowhere. Thanks to Fathers and Families and the activism of Michael Robinson, the CJE has been exposed as just a bunch of disgruntled family law litigants.

In California, the Family Law Section of the California Bar Association, the California Judges Commission and the California section of the American Psychological Association have fought this group, and Parental Alienation and its ‘syndrome” are recognized as child abuse.

Time is on the side of Fathers and Children. God Bless Liam and Michael McCarty.

Parental Alienation: Not in the best interest of the children by Douglas Darnall

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on December 19, 2009 at 4:05 pm

NORTH DAKOTA LAW REVIEW, Volume 75, 1999, p 323-364


by Douglas Darnall

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Douglas Darnall is a practicing licensed psychologist and the CEO of PsyCare, Inc., an outpatient psychiatric clinic in Youngstown, Ohio. He is the author of DIVORCE CASUALTIES: PROTECTING YOUR CHILDREN FROM PARENTAL ALIENATION (Taylor Publishing Company, 1998). In the following essay, Dr. Darnall, drawing largely from his book, discusses how attorneys and judges can serve clients by recognizing, dealing with, and seeking to stop and prevent parental alienation. Because the essay is based largely on Dr. Darnall’s book and because he is not a legal or academic professional, a bibliography of sources employed in his book appears at the end of the essay instead of traditional footnotes.


During the crisis of divorce, most parents fear whether their children will emerge unscathed. Any reasonable and empathetic parent sincerely believes in the value of his or her children having a healthy relationship with both parents. Ideally, parents deliberately work on comforting and reassuring the children that no harm will come to them. At the same time, both try to strengthen their parent-child relationships without degrading the other parent or causing the children to feel divided loyalty. They encourage visits, talk kindly of the other parent in the children’s presence, and set aside their own negative feelings to avoid causing the children distress. They are sensitive to the children’s needs and encourage positive feelings toward the other parent. This outcome is the goal of not only the parents and children, but also the attorneys and judge involved in the case.

However, any number of events can destroy the fragile balance of peace between parents. If this happens, an injured parent may seek comfort by aligning with the children, especially since be or she may feel threatened by the children’s love for the other parent. A pattern of alienation usually begins without any malicious or conscious intent to harm or destroy the relationship between the other parent and the children. Though most parents mean well, they are often unaware of how subtle behaviors and comments can hurt the relationship between the children and the targeted parent. In effect, alienation can occur in even the friendliest of divorces.

In unfriendly divorces, the effects are predictable. Custody litigation or struggles for parenting time creates unavoidable competition between parents. Children feel pulled in many directions as long as both parents want custody or feel they must fight for their fair share of time. Afraid of losing custody, a parent may feel an urgency to align with the children to help ensure victory. The other parent may retaliate with an insurgence of passion for winning their cause. They may have difficulty accepting that they must compete against each other to prove to the court that making them the custodial parent is in the children’s best interest. The struggle between two passionate parents is a byproduct of modern-day divorce, and it sets the stage for alienation.

Alienation will continue as long as divorces — and custody battles — continue to increase at alarming rates. More fathers are becoming more comfortable in a nurturing and caretaking role and no longer adhere to the belief that they are genetically predisposed to be the inferior parent, and as a result they are seeking and being granted custody. Therefore, courts no longer automatically assume children are better off living with their mother. Meanwhile, mothers are realizing that the all-American dream of marriage, a home, and children is not a guarantee of emotional fulfillment. Many women now want an identity in both the workplace and the home. The high costs of living and supporting a family force women to work outside the home even when their children are very young. Consequently, women can no longer argue for custody because of an inherent birthright or ability to care for the children at home.

After the attorneys are gone and the case is closed, the parents must somehow pick up the pieces and establish a working relationship for the children’s best interest. The issue for attorneys and the court is what they see as their role and responsibility for setting the stage in helping families to repair damaged relationships. Attorneys who take an active role in educating clients about parental alienation, parental alienation syndrome and where to get help if needed can help families get on with their lives with some semblance of harmony. While attorneys and judges should not become therapists, they can help set the stage for parents to work together in harmony by educating divorcing parents during litigation about parental alienation and how such behavior impacts the children.

To read more.

Parental Alienation: Not in the best interest of the children by Douglas Darnall.

Misperceptions vs Facts about Ricahrd A Gardner and Parental Alienation Syndrome – June 19, 1999

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on December 19, 2009 at 5:45 am

The dozens or so follows of the “pig pen”  use slander and libel in their campaign of hatred against children and their rights, particularly their attack on Dr. Richard A. Garder, the man who did not invent parental alienation. He just coined the term Parental Alienation Syndrdome.  Dr. Garnder set the record straight many years ago.


This document has been prepared to provide corrections for certain misrepresentations and misperceptions of some of my contributions. There have been unfortunate misinterpretations of some of my positions on a variety of issues.  Some of these originated from conflicts in the legal arena, where attorneys frequently select out-of-context material in order to enhance their positions in a court of law.  This is the nature of the adversary system, and it is one of the causes of the controversy that sometimes surround my contributions. Some of these misperceptions and misrepresentations have become so widespread that I considered it judicious to formulate this statement.
Misperception: Dr. Richard Gardner is biased against women

Fact: This cannot be reasonably substantiated by anything I have ever written, lectured on, or testified to in a court of law.  With regard to the alleged gender bias associated with the parental alienation syndrome, the facts are that I will generally recommend that PAS-inducing mothers in both the mild and moderate categories retain primary custody. When PAS is severe, or rapidly approaching the severe level, and the mother is the primary promulgator, then I recommend a change of custody.  But this represents only a small percentage of cases.  And these are exactly the recommendations I make in my book The Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS).

Misperception: Dr. Gardner is an advocate for Men’s Rights’ Groups

Fact: I have never been a member of any Men’s Rights’ Groups.  In fact, I have never been a member of any advocacy group whatsoever.  Many men in men’s rights groups are very pleased with me because I played an important role in bringing to public attention the false sex-abuse accusation in the context of child-custody disputes and testified in support of innocent men in this category.  However, in the same groups are many men who are critical of me because they claim I do not generally recommend custodial change for mothers who have induced mild and moderate levels of PAS in their children.  As mentioned, I generally reserve such a recommendation for the relatively small percentage of mothers who have produced very formidable levels of moderate PAS and/or severe levels of PAS.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner testifies predominantly in support of men

Fact: There is absolutely no basis for this myth.  I have testified on behalf of women who have been victimized by PAS-inducing husbands, and I have testified on behalf of men whose wives are PAS inducers.  In fact, in the last few years, the number of PAS-inducing men against whom I have testified has increased formidably, to the point where I see the ratio now to be about 50/50.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner is a hired gun

Fact: When I agree to involve myself in a custody litigation there is a three-step process that each prospective client must take.  First, every attempt must be made to involve me as the court’s independent examiner.  If this fails I may be willing, after some exploration of the case, to be recognized as the inviting party’s expert, but I make no promises beforehand that I will support that party’s position.  I require the inviting party to sign a document in which he (she) agrees to pay my fees, and even for my testimony, if I ultimately decide that the opposing party warrants my support.  There have been cases when in the course of my evaluation I have concluded that the opposing party’s position is the more compelling one, and I have ultimately testified on that party’s behalf.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner’s publications are not peer reviewed

Fact: I have published approximately 150 articles of which approximately 85 have been in peer review journals.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner has his own publishing company, Creative
Therapeutics, Inc., and publishes all his books through his own

Fact: I do own Creative Therapeutics, Inc., and since 1978 I have published most (but not all) of my books through Creative Therapeutics.  The implication is that Creative Therapeutics is some kind of a vanity press and that if not for it, I could not find publishers for my books.  The facts are that between 1960 and 1968 I published books with the following other publishers: Bantam Books—4, Jason Aronson, Inc.—6, Avon Books—1, Doubleday—1, Prentice-Hall—2, G. P. Putnam’s—1.  Furthermore, Creative Therapeutics has not published any of the multiple foreign translations of my books.  In 1991 Bantam published the second edition my book, The Parents Book About Divorce.  Furthermore, I periodically receive invitations from other publishers to write books.  The main reason why, in recent years, I have published through Creative Therapeutics is that I have much more autonomy regarding book size and content, and the returns are more favorable.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner is on the Executive Board of the False Memory Syndrome Foundation (FMS Foundation)

Fact: I have never been on this board.  A review of any of their periodicals listing membership will support my statement that I am not included on their Executive Board.  I am certainly sympathetic to the Foundation’s position with regard to the belated accusations of sex abuse by women who have been led by others to believe they were abused in childhood when there is absolutely no evidence for it.  Such sympathy does not preclude my recognition of the fact that bona fide sex abuse is a widespread phenomenon and that there are even women who may have limited recollection of their abuses. I am in agreement with the Foundation’s position that psychotherapy has been oversold to the public, and it is a far less scientific method of treatment than generally believed.  However, I believe that the Foundation’s position on psychotherapy is too stringent and goes to the point that no form of psychotherapy is considered efficacious.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner believes that pedophiles should be granted primary custody of their children

Fact: I consider pedophilia to be a psychiatric disorder, an abominable exploitation of children.  I have never supported a pedophile in his (or her) quest for primary child custody. Because I have testified on behalf of falsely accused defendants, there are some who claim that I am reflexively protective of pedophiles and sympathetic to what they do.  There is absolutely nothing in anything I have ever said or written to support this absurd allegation.  When I conclude in a custody dispute that an accused father has pedophilic tendencies, I will advise the court to provide protection for the children.  I would certainly not recommend primary custody for such a parent.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner supports and is fully sympathetic to the practice of pedophilia

Fact: There is absolutely nothing that I have ever said in any of my lectures, or anything that I have written in any of my publications to support this allegation.  This is my position on pedophilia: I consider pedophilia to be a form of psychiatric disturbance.  Furthermore, I consider those who perpetrate such acts to be exploiting innocent victims with little, if any, sensitivity to the potential effects of their behavior on their child victims.  Many are psychopathic, as evidenced by their inability to project themselves into the position of the children they have seduced, and ignore the potential future consequences on the child of their abominable behavior.
Accordingly, we all need protection from pedophiles.  Jail is certainly a reasonable place to provide us with such protection.  This is especially the case because the vast majority of pedophiles are not going to be cured, or even helped significantly with their problems, by psychotherapy—the assertions of some psychotherapists notwithstanding.  By adulthood the pedophilic orientation has been deeply embedded in the brain circuitry and is not likely to be changed by such a superficial approach as “talk therapy.”  Nor is it likely to be changed to a significant degree by conditioning techniques, i.e., “behavior modification.”  It is as reasonable to believe that one could accomplish this goal as it is to believe that one could change an adult homosexual into a heterosexual and vice versa.
I am also in favor of Megan’s Law, which requires that communities learn about the presence in their midst of pedophiles who have just been released from prison.  I do believe, however, that the same laws should be applied to those who have been convicted of certain other crimes such as rape (which in a sense is similar to pedophilia), murder, arson, and other felonies that present formidable risks to the community.  In short, I have absolutely no sympathy for pedophiles, and the fact that I have testified in courts of law in defense of innocent parties—who have been wrongly accused of pedophilia—does not mean that I am in any way sympathetic to those who actually perpetrate such a heinous crime.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner believes that pedophilia is a good thing for society

Fact: I believe that pedophilia is a bad thing for society.  I do believe, however, that pedophilia, like all other forms of atypical sexuality is part of the human repertoire and that all humans are born with the potential to develop any of the forms of atypical sexuality (which are referred to as paraphilias by DSM-IV).  My acknowledgment that a form of behavior is part of the human potential is not an endorsement of that behavior. Rape, murder, sexual sadism, and sexual harassment are all part of the human potential.  This does not mean I sanction these abominations.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner believes that the vast majority of incestuous sex-abuse accusations are false

Fact: I believe that the vast majority of incestuous sex-abuse accusations are true.  There are other categories of sex-abuse accusations, e.g., accusations against babysitters, clergy, scout masters, teachers, strangers, and accusations in the context of child-custody disputes.  Each category has its own likelihood of being true or false.  It is in the category of child-custody disputes that I believe that the vast majority of accusations are false, and there is support for this belief in the scientific literature.  This category represents only one of many, and although false accusations in child-custody disputes is common practice, this category represents only a small fraction of all groups combined.  When one combines all groups, I hold that the vast majority of sex-abuse accusations are true.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner is in strong support of the North American Man/Boy Love Association (NAMBLA)

Fact: I have never been a member of this organization, and I am opposed to its primary principles.  Adult men who have sex with boys are exploiting them, corrupting them, and contributing to the development of sexual psychopathology in them. NAMBLA’s position is that if the child consents, then the pedophilic act is acceptable and even desirable.  This is a rationalization for depravity.  Children can be seduced into consenting to anything, including murder.  Society needs to protect itself from those who would exploit our children.  Jail is one reasonable place to provide such protection.

Misperception: The PAS is not a syndrome

Fact: There are some who claim that the PAS is not really a syndrome. This criticism is especially seen in courts of law in the context of child-custody disputes. It is an argument sometimes promulgated by those who claim that PAS does not even exist. The PAS is a very specific disorder. A syndrome, by medical definition, is a cluster of symptoms, occurring together, that characterize a specific disease. The symptoms, although seemingly disparate, warrant being grouped together because of a common etiology or basic underlying cause. Furthermore, there is a consistency with regard to such a cluster in that most (if not all) of the symptoms appear together. Accordingly, there is a kind of purity that a syndrome has that may not be seen in other diseases.
For example, a person suffering with pneumococcal pneumonia may have chest pain, cough, purulent sputum, and fever. However, the individual may still have the disease without all these symptoms manifesting themselves. The syndrome is more often “pure” because most (if not all) of the symptoms in the cluster predictably manifest themselves. An example would be Down’s Syndrome, which includes a host of seemingly disparate symptoms that do not appear to have a common link. These include mental retardation, mongoloid-type facial expression, drooping lips, slanting eyes, short fifth finger, and atypical creases in the palms of the hands. There is a consistency here in that the people who suffer with Down’s Syndrome often look very much alike and most typically exhibit all these symptoms. The common etiology of these disparate symptoms relates to a specific chromosomal abnormality. It is this genetic factor that is responsible for linking together these seemingly disparate symptoms. There is then a primary, basic cause of Down’s Syndrome: a genetic abnormality.
Similarly, the PAS is characterized by a cluster of symptoms that usually appear together in the child, especially in the moderate and severe types. These include:

1. A campaign of denigration
2. Weak, absurd, or frivolous rationalizations for the deprecation
3. Lack of ambivalence
4. The “independent-thinker” phenomenon
5. Reflexive support of the alienating parent in the parental conflict
6. Absence of guilt over cruelty to and/or exploitation of the alienated parent
7. The presence of borrowed scenarios
8. Spread of the animosity to the friends and/or extended family of the alienated parent

Typically, children who suffer with PAS will exhibit most (if not all) of these symptoms. This is almost uniformly the case for the moderate and severe types. However, in the mild cases one might not see all eight symptoms. When mild cases progress to moderate or severe, it is highly likely that most (if not all) of the symptoms will be present. This consistency results in PAS children resembling one another. It is because of these considerations that the PAS is a relatively “pure” diagnosis that can easily be made. As is true of other syndromes, there is an underlying cause: programming by an alienating parent in conjunction with additional contributions by the programmed child. It is for these reasons that PAS is indeed a syndrome, and it is a syndrome by the best medical definition of the term.

Misperception: PAS does not exist because it’s not in DSM-IV

Fact: There are some, especially adversaries in child-custody disputes, who claim that there is no such entity as the PAS, that it is only a theory, or that it is “Gardner’s theory.” Some claim that I invented the PAS, with the implication that it is merely a figment of my imagination. The main argument given to justify this position is that it does not appear in DSM-IV. The DSM committees justifiably are quite conservative with regard to the inclusion of newly described clinical phenomena and require many years of research and publications before considering inclusion of a disorder.  This is as it should be. The PAS exists! Any lawyer involved in child-custody disputes will attest to that fact. Mental health and legal professionals involved in such disputes are observing it. They may not wish to recognize it. They may refer to it by another name (like “parental alienation”). But that does not preclude its existence. A tree exists as a tree regardless of the reactions of those looking at it. A tree still exists even though some might give it another name. If a dictionary selectively decides to omit the word tree from its compilation of words, that does not mean that the tree does not exist. It only means that the people who wrote that book decided not to include that particular word. Similarly, for someone to look at a tree and say that the tree does not exist does not cause the tree to evaporate. It only indicates that the viewer, for whatever reason, does not wish to see what is right in front of him (her).
To refer to the PAS as “a theory” or “Gardner’s theory” implies the nonexistence of the disorder. It implies that it is a figment of my imagination and has no basis in reality. To say that PAS does not exist because it is not listed in DSM-IV is like saying in 1980 that Lyme Disease did not exist because it was not then listed in standard diagnostic medical textbooks. The PAS is not a theory, it is a fact.
But why this controversy in the first place? With regard to whether PAS exists, we generally do not see such controversy regarding most other clinical entities in psychiatry. Examiners may have different opinions regarding the etiology and treatment of a particular psychiatric disorder, but there is usually some consensus about its existence. And this should especially be the case for a relatively “pure” disorder such as the PAS, a disorder that is easily diagnosable because of the similarity of the children’s symptoms when one compares one family with another. Over the years, I have received many letters from people who have essentially said: “Your PAS book is uncanny. You don’t know me, and yet I felt that I was reading my own family’s biography. You wrote your book before all this trouble started in my family. It’s almost like you predicted what would happen.” Why, then, should there be such controversy over whether or not PAS exists?
One explanation lies in the situation in which the PAS emerges and in which the diagnosis is made: vicious child-custody litigation. Once an issue is brought before a court of law—in the context of adversarial proceedings—it behooves one side to take just the opposite position from the other if one is to prevail in that forum. A parent accused of inducing a PAS in a child is likely to engage the services of a lawyer who may invoke the argument that there is no such thing as a PAS. And if this lawyer can demonstrate that the PAS is not listed in DSM-IV, then the position is considered “proven.” The only thing this proves is that DSM-IV has not yet listed the PAS.
Another factor operative in the controversy relates to the false sex-abuse accusation that is commonly a spin-off of the PAS.  It is such a common problem that there are many who equate PAS with false sex-abuse accusations.  Those who deny the existence of false sex-abuse accusations at the same time frequently deny the existence of the PAS. Therefore, people who claim that the PAS exists may find themselves criticized as individuals who do not believe in the existence of true sex abuse.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner utilizes coercive interview techniques in which he bludgeons children into saying whatever he wants them to

Fact: I make every attempt to videotape my interviews of children alleging sexual abuse.  I have done hundreds of hours of such interviews.  Not once has anybody been able to demonstrate coercive interview techniques in the course of these.   In fact, my interviews are often viewed in another room—via a monitor—by parents, lawyers, mental health professionals, and sometimes the child’s own therapist.  Not once has anybody ever come forth with the complaint that my interviews were coercive, even under circumstances in which the parties were able to interrupt my interview while it was in progress.  The interview tapes are available to both sides and yet not once has an opposing attorney ever taken such a tape and even tried to demonstrate to the court that my interview was coercive.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner has been barred from testimony in many courts of law throughout the United States

Fact: This is pure myth. To date I have testified directly in approximately 30 states and in others via telephone.  I have been testifying since 1960.  Not once has a court of law not recognized me as an expert.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner claims that he is a Clinical Professor of Child Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, yet he does very little teaching there

Fact: The implication of this statement is that I am somehow misrepresenting myself.  I have been on the faculty of the Columbia Medical School since 1963.  In earlier years I did more teaching than I have in recent years, but such reduction in teaching obligations is common for senior medical school faculty members.  More importantly, people who do significant research and writing generally do far less teaching.  This has been my position.
When I was promoted to the rank of full professor in 1983, I was the first person in the history of Columbia’s Child Psychiatry department to achieve that rank who was primarily in private practice (rather than full-time faculty).  I had to satisfy all the same requirements necessary for the promotion of full-time academics.  And this was also true when I was promoted to the associate professorial rank some years previously.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner’s protocols for evaluating sex abuse are not recognized by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Fact: My protocols not only follow the guidelines delineated in “Guidelines for Conducting the Sex-Abuse Evaluation” published in 1998 by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, but my book, Protocols for the Sex-Abuse Evaluation, is cited as one of the references.  Even more importantly, I was invited to serve as a consultant to the committee formulating this document.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner’s sex-abuse protocol has no scientific validity

Fact: My book Protocols for the Sex-Abuse Evaluation provides scientific references to the vast majority of the criteria that I use for differentiating between true and false sex-abuse accusations.  No competent professional has ever claimed in a court of law or in a publication that any single criterion in this volume lacks scientific validity.  Actually, the criteria that I use are derived from the same literature that others use when differentiating between true and false accusations. However, my list of differentiating criteria is generally longer and more exhaustive than any of the lists I have seen.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner’s interest in the field of child sex abuse is probably related to the fact that he himself is tainted somehow in this realm, e.g., he was sexually abused himself as a child, or he himself is a sex abuser

Fact: I was never sexually abused as a child.  I have never sexually abused a child, nor have I ever been accused of such behavior.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner’s interest in child-custody disputes probably stems from the fact that he himself was involved in such a dispute

Fact: I have never been involved in a child-custody dispute involving my children.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner’s work is “controversial”

Fact: The implication here is that because controversy exists there is something specious about my contributions.  It is true that most newly developed scientific principles become “controversial” when they are dealt with in the courtroom.  It behooves the attorneys to take an opposite stand and create controversy where it does not exist.  This is inevitable in the context of adversarial proceedings.  A good example of this phenomenon is the way in which DNA testing was dealt with in the OJ Simpson trial.  DNA testing is one of the most scientifically valid procedures.  Yet the jury saw fit to question the validity of such evidence, and DNA became, for that trial, controversial.  Those who discount my contributions because some are allegedly “controversial” sidestep the real issue, namely, what specifically has engendered the controversy, and, more importantly, is what I have said reasonable and valid?  The fact that something is controversial does not invalidate it.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner has a publicist

Fact: There was a period of approximately nine months (fall 1992 to summer 1993) when I did engage the services of a publicist.  The purpose was to bring public attention to one very important case in which I was involved.  That was the only time that I have used the services of a publicist.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner is extremely expensive and only represents rich people

Fact: My fees are higher than average, but commensurate with that of people at my level of experience and expertise.  I have also done a significant amount of pro bono work.  At any given point I usually have one or two pro bono patients for whom I dedicate myself as assiduously I would had they been paying me.  I do not differ here from many other physicians whose fees from those who can pay enables them to provide services at low cost—or even at no cost—to others.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner’s work on the PAS and sex abuse is not generally recognized by the professional communities

Fact: This vague statement does not identify which people in which professional communities do not recognize my work.  As indicated elsewhere on this website, there are approximately 65 articles published in scientific journals on the parental alienation syndrome.  Furthermore, institutions in both the legal and mental health realms have invited me repeatedly to lecture on the PAS and sex abuse, and thousands have attended my lectures throughout the United States, in Canada and in some countries abroad.

Misperception: The PAS has not been recognized in courts of law

Fact: Again, no mention is made regarding which courts of law.  Although there are certainly judges who have not yet recognized the PAS (I have no hesitation using the word “yet”) there is no question that courts of law with increasing rapidity are recognizing the disorder.  Elsewhere in this website are cited 37 cases in which the PAS has been recognized.  I am certain that there are others which have not been brought to my attention.

Misperception: The PAS is a discredited theory

Fact: Those who promulgate this myth do not state who has discredited the PAS and by what authority.  The facts are just the opposite.  An ever-increasing number of legal and mental health professionals are writing articles on the PAS and citing it in courts of law.  These two are cited in this website.

Misperception: Gardner believes that judges, lawyers, juries, and evaluators who involve themselves in sex-abuse lawsuits become sexually “turned on” in the course of the litigation

Fact: As the media well knows, sex and violence attract attention.  People are more likely to read about these issues than less “interesting” topics.  To deny prurient interests is to deny reality. This does not mean that I believe that people are sitting in the courtroom in a state of high sexual excitation while the trial is going on.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner believes that everybody has pedophilic tendencies

Fact: I believe that all people are born with the potential to engage in every kind of atypical sexual behavior known to humanity.  It behooves parents and other caretakers to suppress socially unacceptable behavior and to channel the child’s sexual urges into socially accepted forms.  This should happen in early childhood. In our society the pedophilic potential has been suppressed successfully for the vast majority of individuals.  Those who have not experienced such suppression become pedophiles.  There have been other societies in the history of the world that have not suppressed pedophilic tendencies.  The fact that such suppression has not taken place is a fact of history.  This does not mean that I suggest that we emulate such societies or that I approve of pedophilia.  Human sacrifice has been widespread in many societies in the history of the world.  This also is a fact of history.  To state this fact does not mean that I approve of the practice.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner’s custody evaluations do not follow the guidelines delineated by the American Psychological Association

Fact: My child-custody evaluative procedures follow every one of these guidelines.  Those who promulgate this myth do not say specifically what in these guidelines is not subscribed to by my child-custody evaluative procedures.  In fact, my publications describing my procedures have been cited in the 1994 American Psychological Association’s “Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluation in Divorce Proceedings.” The Guidelines cite the first edition of my book on the parental alienation syndrome as well as my 1992 volume True and False Accusations of Child Sex Abuse.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner’s sex-abuse evaluations do not follow the guidelines delineated by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Fact: Again, those who promulgate this myth do not state exactly which aspects or elements in my protocol do not follow these guidelines.  The facts are that they do.  In 1997 the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry published “Practice Parameters for the Forensic Evaluation of Children and Adolescents Who May Have Been Physically or Sexually Abused.” I was a consultant to the committee that prepared this document, and my 1992 and 1995 books which describe my protocols are cited in this document.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner’s PAS has given abusing parents the weapon to use against their accusers.  Specifically, they deny their abuse and claim that the children’s animosity is the result of the accuser’s programming

Fact: I do not deny that some bona fide abusers are doing this.  The implication of the criticism, however, is that somehow I am responsible for such misrepresentation of my contribution by these abusers.  PAS exists, as does child abuse.  There will always be those who will twist a contribution for their own purposes.  The second edition of my book The Parental Alienation Syndrome provides evaluators with detailed criteria for differentiating between true abusers and PAS indoctrinators.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner’s work has contributed to sex-abuse hysteria in this country

Fact: In a way, this is a compliment, because it credits me with the power to create a national hysteria that did not exist before my publications.  Describing a phenomenon does not mean that I created it.  My book Sex Abuse Hysteria: Salem Witch Trials Revisited was published in 1991, at least six or seven years after the hysteria began. (The reader may recall that the McMartin accusations surfaced in 1983 and the Kelly Michaels accusations in 1988.)  Obviously, the sex-abuse hysteria phenomenon was well under way before the publication of my book.

Misperception: Gardner is responsible for judges all over the United States and Canada disbelieving mothers claiming that their children were sexually abused by their husbands.  As a result children are not being protected from their pedophilic fathers

Fact: Again, there is a compliment here in that I, a single person, could have such an enormous influence over the judiciary over a whole continent.  The alternative explanation, namely, that my contributions have brought to light the abomination of false sex-abuse accusations is not acknowledged by those who promulgate this myth.

Misperception: Dr. Gardner’s work has resulted in people committing suicide and homicide

Fact: There is no question that I have been involved in a few cases in which such tragedies have occurred.  I do not differ, thereby, from the vast majority of other psychiatrists who have been in full-time practice for over 40 years.  The implication here is that I somehow have been personally responsible for these deaths.  Unfortunately, considerations of confidentiality prevent me from making any public statements regarding these particular cases.  The old adage is applicable here: “There are two sides to every story.”  And my side, without revealing any specific information about any specific case is this: I have never been involved in a case in which I have been directly responsible for anyone’s suicide or anyone’s homicide.  And in every such case I could, if I had the opportunity, provide compelling evidence that these terrible consequences had absolutely nothing to do with me.

Richard A. Gardner, M.D.
Cresskill, New Jersey
June 9, 1999

Misperceptions_vs_Facts about RA Gardner June 19, 1999.

Senator places hold on bill over custody battle – NBC12 News, Weather Sports, Traffic, and Programming Guide for Richmond, VA |

In Family Rights on December 19, 2009 at 12:16 am

A friend of mine said its about time to send in the military to get that boy out of Brazil. I agree.  Since when do we tolerate holding our citizens hostage in foreign countries in violation of treaty?  Not since gutless Jimmy Carter.

WASHINGTON (AP) – A New Jersey senator plans to hold up a trade bill that would benefit Brazil because of a long-running battle over a 9-year-old boy.

Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey placed a hold on a bill that would allow Brazil and other countries to export some products duty-free to the United States.

The hold was confirmed by his spokesman Caley Gray.

Brazil’s Supreme Court stopped David Goldman from picking up his son Sean on Thursday and taking him home to New Jersey.

The court said Sean must stay in Brazil while it considers the custody case, which has run more than five years. Another court had told Goldman he could pick up his son.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

via Senator places hold on bill over custody battle – NBC12 News, Weather Sports, Traffic, and Programming Guide for Richmond, VA |.

F.R.A.M.E.D. – Family Rights And Many Ending Discrimination: Four Myths of Parental Alienation

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Marriage, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parents rights on December 18, 2009 at 9:10 pm

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Four Myths of Parental Alienation

Richmond County Bar Association Journal, February 2005

Do you know the definition of a myth?

According to Webster, a myth is a fiction or half-truth, especially one that forms part of the ideology of a society.

One of my favorite myths is the one about waiting one hour after eating before swimming. I’ve always wondered—why can’t someone swim immediately after eating a small salad? And should anyone swim only one hour after eating a big Thanksgiving dinner? After all, some people need at least one hour just to move from the table to the couch after finishing a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings.

The problem with myths, like the myth about eating and swimming, is that they are too black and white. Shades of gray have no place in a good myth. Myths don’t give the society the option of considering specific circumstances.

For legal and mental health professionals working divorce and child custody cases, one subject that is rapidly reach­ing mythic proportion is parental alienation. The concept of parental alienation is pretty simple – one parent deliber­ately damages, and in some cases destroys, the previously healthy, loving relationship between his or her child and the child’s other parent. In a severe case the alienating parent and child work together to successfully eliminate the previously loved Mom or Dad from the child’s life. Their campaign is aimed at destroying Mom or Dad’s position as a loving parent and responsible adult.

The late Dr. Richard A. Gardner, author of The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Guide of Legal and Mental Health Professionals, coined the term parental alienation almost 20 years ago to characterize the breakdown of previously normal, healthy parent/child relationships during divorce and child custody cases. Yet the United States judicial system pays little, if any, attention to parental alienation. The legal and psychological communities often mistakenly dismiss alienation as the typical rancor associated with high conflict divorce and child custody cases. This misdiag­nosis has given birth to four parental alienation myths.

The first myth is that once the divorce and child custody proceedings end, the alienating actions will end too.

“The key factor that is characteristic in all parental alienation families is the alienating parent’s real or perceived fear of abandonment,” says David Israel, a Connecticut clinical psychologist who specializes in child advocacy and family mediation. “During a divorce, the alienating parent feels an intense level of abandonment and betrayal. This parent uses his or her child to fill the void left by the divorce and destroy a relationship that is loved and cherished by the other parent.

In mild and moderate cases, alienating parents often stop their alienating behavior after a divorce. In some cases they find another relationship. Others address their unresolved issues with a therapist. However, in more severe cases alienating parents do not resolve their abandonment issues and continue using their children to keep those issues away. In these cases, the alienating behavior not only doesn’t stop when the legal battles end, the behavior becomes a way of life for the alienating parents and children.”

The second myth surrounding parental alienation is that it is purely, “a father’s issue.” In fact, critics often claim that fathers who accuse mothers of alienation are merely abusive men using parental alienation as a defense during custody hearings against well-deserved physical and/or sexual abuse charges.

“Allegations of abuse or neglect are often leveled against the non-custodial parent during a divorce as a way for the custodial parent to gain some leverage,” says Dr. Brian Canfield, President of the International Association of Marriage and Family Counselors. “The longer that parent can limit the contact the child has with the non-custodial parent, the bigger the advantage.”

The myth that parental alienation is nothing more than the abusive husband and father’s defense ignores the fact that many loving mothers are alienated from their children by the children’s fathers. In any event, parents, both male and female, often exaggerate their situations during contested custody proceedings and cry abuse or alienation when none exists. Why?
Because the entire concept of family court law is based on the premise that one side will use whatever means necessary to outwit and discredit the other side in front of the judge. Insincerity, half-truths and lies of omission are standard operating procedure in family court. The judge is responsible for sorting it all out. When parental alienation allegations are present, mental health professionals are responsible for helping the judge sort it all out.

“A skilled clinician can tell the difference between false abuse charges and legitimate alienation and vice versa,” Is­rael explains. “For example, an abusive parent typically won’t cooperate with a therapist. A victim of false allegations generally will cooperate with a therapist. A parent filing a false abuse complaint generally can’t back up the story with facts and won’t cooperate with counseling recommendations once he or she has the professional’s sympathy, support and validation.”

“As therapists we must incorporate an awareness of parental alienation into our training programs,” Canfield adds. “Mental health professionals must understand this dynamic so when we are called upon to play a role in child cus­tody cases we can educate parents, attorneys and judges.”

Alienation myth number three states that, “the place to deal with parental alienation is in the therapist’s office, not the courtroom.”

In mild and moderate alienation cases, parents and therapists can often successfully address the problem without involving the court. But in severe cases, getting the alienating parent and alienated child to cooperate with the thera­pist in a timely fashion is the judge’s job. He or she is the only person with the power to put the alienated child in the therapist’s office.

“Many judges don’t punish the alienating parent for disobeying court orders aimed at repairing the other parent’s relationship with the child,” according to Bonnie Amendola, an attorney specializing in Family Law and an advocate for children during the divorce and custody process. “There are no teeth in most court orders.”

Judges are often reluctant to impose any punishment on the alienating parent that might cause the child any more pain. However, empty threats won’t convince a severely alienating parent to help, or at least not sabotage, efforts to rebuild the child’s relationship with the other parent. In the most severe alienation cases, judges must consider extreme measures such as fines, jail time and even a change of custody in order to get the alienating parent’s coop­eration.

The fourth and last myth is that alienation isn’t even a legitimate issue because it isn’t listed in the DSM — the psy­chology profession’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. The manual is the clinician’s bible – a guide to symptoms and syndromes and the definitive diagnosis on any legitimate mental health condition.

The latest edition of the DSM is the DSM-IV-TR, the fourth edition with revised text. The DSM is an evolving docu­ment. At one time the DSM listed homosexuality as a deviant condition – an illness or sickness. Not any longer. Conversely, at one time anorexia didn’t exist, diagnostic wise, in the DSM. Today it does.

“Inclusion in the DSM is not an instantaneous event,” says Dr. Barry Brody, the executive director of Forensic Fam­ily Services and a licensed marriage and family therapist in Miami Florida. “For example, Giles de La Tourette first described his syndrome in 1885. But Tourette’s Disorder didn’t appear in the DSM until 1980 – 95 years later.”

Inclusion in the DSM is a conservative and deliberate scientific process that includes reviewing the scientific litera­ture regarding a particular diagnostic entity. “Parental alienation is a fairly new phenomina,” Israel explains. “As psychologists see more cases, they’ll begin to see the patterns. Parental alienation has very clear, defined patterns. That’s what the DSM is looking for – definite criteria or symptoms that equals a specific syndrome.”

“If we accept the logic that a diagnostic entity must be in the DSM for it to exist,” Brody concludes, “that logic leads to the inevitable conclusion that mental illness didn’t exist before 1952. That was the year that the first DSM was published.”

F.R.A.M.E.D. – Family Rights And Many Ending Discrimination: Four Myths of Parental Alienation.

Mental Health Professionals’ Opinion of Parental Alienation

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Marriage, Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders on December 18, 2009 at 7:13 pm
Mental Health Professionals’ Opinion of Parental Alienation

“‘The long-term implications [of alienation] are pretty severe,’ says Amy Baker, director of research at the Vincent J. Fontana Center for Child Protection in New York and a contributing author of Bernet’s proposal. In a study culminating in a 2007 book, Adult Children of Parental Alienation Syndrome, she interviewed 40 ’survivors’ and found that many were depressed, guilt ridden, and filled with self-loathing. Kids develop identity through relationships with both their parents, she says. When they are told one is no good, they believe, ‘I’m half no good.”–US News and World Report, 10/29/09

“I have seen the very real existence of Parental Alienation Syndrome in case after case where one parent is enraged at the other and proceeds to poison the children against the ‘enemy’ parent. While many times it is a father who is demonized by an angry mother, the gender of the parent being turned into a ‘monster’ by the custodial parent can be reversed. Who the victim of P.A.S. turns out to be is entirely dependent upon the willingness of the parent with physical custody to ‘brainwash’ a child against the other parent. The loss of the child’s relationship to the hated ex-spouse delivers a message that this is the price you will pay for getting a divorce.”–Harvard Medical School Psychiatry Professor Henry J. Friedman, New York Times, 10/17/08.

“In some cases, it’s clear that the child is actively being taught to hate the parent”–Dr. Richard A. Warshak, author of Divorce Poison.

“‘Anyone who works in the field of forensic psychology in the context of divorce will say, yes, it’s possible for a child to be turned away from a loving parent. Everybody knows that happens’”–custody consultant J. Michael Bone, Ph.D., US News and World Report, 10/29/09

“[Court-ordered visitation can] be entangled with Medea-like rage…A woman betrayed by her husband is deeply opposed to the fact that her children must visit him every other weekend. … She cannot stop the visit, but she can plant seeds of doubt – ‘Do not trust your father’ – in the children’s minds and thus punish her ex-husband via the children. She does this consciously or unconsciously, casting the seeds of doubt by the way she acts and the questions she asks.”–Psychologist Judith S. Wallerstein and Sandra Blakeslee

“‘Strong alignment’ [with one parent means] the child consistently denigrated and rejected the other parent. Often, this was accompanied by an adamant refusal to visit, communicate, or have anything to do with the rejected parent…Strong alignments are probably most closely related to the behavioral phenomenon Gardner referred to as parental alienation syndrome…”–Janet Johnston, PhD

“I’ve seen several dramatic cases where the father was the alienator. In one case, the father had no control over his obsession to trash the mother.

“Numerous professionals told him, including the mother, that he could have shared custody if he would be willing to follow the rules. He didn’t have the self-control to do this.”–Dr. Jayne A. Major

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Emotional Scarring From Divorce Affects 1 In 4 Kids, Most Ages 9 To 12

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on December 18, 2009 at 6:36 pm

Emotional Scarring From Divorce Affects 1 In 4 Kids, Most Ages 9 To 12

To see the original article click on the link above.

Peer Review by Experts in Parental Alienation « Parental Alienation Support

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on December 16, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Peer Review References for Parental Alienation

December 7, 2009 padsupport Leave a comment


Ackerman, M.J. (1995). Clinician’s Guide to Child Custody Evaluations. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. New York.

Bernet, W. (2008). Parental Alienation Disorder and the DSM-V. American Journal of Family Therapy, 36:349-366.

Baker, A.J.L. (2006). The Power of Stories: Stories About Power. Why Therapists and Clients Should Read Stories About the Parental Alienation Syndrome, American Journal of Family Therapy.

Bergman, Z.B. and Weitzman, E. (1995). Parental Kidnapping and Parental Alienation Syndrome. Sichot (Hebrew) 9(2): 115-130.

Blush, G. J. and Ross, K. L. (1990). Investigation and case management issues and strategies. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations. 2(3): 152-160

Bone, J.M. and Walsh, M.R. (1999). Parental Alienation Syndrome: How to Detect It and What to Do About It. The Florida Bar Journal, 73(3):44-48.

Bottinelli, J. , Gordon, R. & Stoffey, R. (2008). MMPI-2 Findings of Primitive Defenses in Alienating Parents. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 36:211-228.

Bow, JN; Gould JW; Flens, JR, (2009). Examining Parental Alienation in Child Custody Cases: A survey of mental health and legal professionals. The American Journal of Family Therapy

Bricklin, B. (1995). The Custody Evaluation Handbook: Research-Based Solutions and Applications. Brunner-Mazel, Inc. Bristol, PA.

Byrne, K. (1989). Brainwashing in Custody Cases: The Parental Alienation Syndrome. Australian Family Lawyer, 4(3):1-4

Cartwright, G.F. (1993). Expanding the Parameters of Parental Alienation Syndrome. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 21(3):205-215.

Campbell, T.W. (1997). Psychotherapy with Children of Divorce: the Pitfalls of Triangulated Relationships. Psychotherapy 29(4):646-652.

Clarkson, H. & Clarkson, D. (2007). Confusion and Controversy in Parental Alienation. Journal of Social Welfare & Family Law. (29): 265-275

Cooke, L. (1995). Parental Alienation Syndrome: A “Hidden” Facet of Custody Disputes, First Place: Canadian Bar Association 1995 Lieff Award.

Clawar, S. S. and Riviin, B. V. (1991). Children Held Hostage: Dealing with Programmed and Brainwashed Children. Chicago, Illinois: American Bar Association.

Drozd, L.M. & Olesen, N.W. (2004). Is it abuse, alienation and/ or estrangement? A decision tree. Journal of child Custody, 1 (3), 65-106

Dunne, J. and Hedrick, (1994), The Parental Alienation Syndrome: An Analysis of Sixteen Selected Cases. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage, 21(3/4):21-38.

Gardner, R. A. (1985). Recent trends in divorce and custody litigation. The Academy Forum, 29(2)3-7. New York: The American Academy of Psychoanalysis.

Gardner, R. A. (1987). Child Custody. In Basic Handbook of Child Psychiatry, ed. J.Noshpitz, Vol. V, pp. 637- 646. New York: Basic Books, Inc.

Gardner, R. A. (1987). Judges interviewing children in custody/visitation litigation. New Jersey Family Lawyer, 7(2):26ff.

Gardner, R. A. (1991). Legal and psychotherapeutic approaches to the three types of parental alienation syndrome families: when psychiatry and the law join forces. Court Review, 28(l):14-21.

Gardner, R. A. (1994). The Detrimental Effects on Women of the Misguided Gender Egalitarianism of Child-Custody Dispute Resolution Guidelines. The Academy Forum. 38 (1/2): 10-13. New York: The American Academy of Psychoanalysis.

Gardner, R. A. (1997). Recommendations for Dealing with Parents Who Induce a Parental Alienation Syndrome in Their Children. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 8(3):174-178.

Gardner, R. A. (1998). Recommendations for Dealing with Parents Who Induce a Parental Alienation Syndrome in Their Children. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage , 28 (3/4):1-23.

Gardner, R. A. (1999), Differentiating between the parental alienation syndrome and bona fide abuse/neglect . American Journal of Family Therapy, 27(2):97-107.

Gardner, R.A.(1999). Family Therapy of the Moderate Type of parental Alienation Syndrome. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 27(3):195-212.

Gardner, R.A.(1999). Guidelines for Assessing Parental Preference in Child-Custody Disputes. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 30(1/2):1-9.

Gardner, R.A.(2001). The Parental Alienation Syndrome: Sixteen Years Later. The Academy Forum. New York: The American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 45(1):10-12.

Gardner, R.A.(2001). Should Courts Order PAS Children to Visit/Reside with the Alienated Parent? A Follow-up Study. American Journal of Forensic Psychology. 19(3):61-106.

Gardner, R.A. (2002). The Empowerment of Children in the Development of the Parental Alienation Syndrome. The American Journal of Forensic Psychology , 20(2):5-29

Gardner, R.A. (2002). Parental Alienation Syndrome vs. Parental Alienation: Which Diagnosis Should Evaluators Use in Child-Custody Litigation? The American Journal of Family Therapy, 30(2):101-123.

Gardner, R.A. (2002). Denial of the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Also Harms Women. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 30(3):191-202.

Gardner, R.A. (2002). Does DSM-IV Have Equivalents for the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Diagnosis? American Journal of Family Therapy, 31(1):1-21.

Gardner, R.A. (2003). The Judiciary’s Role in the Etiology, Symptom Development, and Treatment of The Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). American Journal of of Forensic Psychology, 21(1):39-64.

Gardner, R.A. (2003). How Denying and Discrediting the Parental Alienation Syndrome Harms Women., eds. W. von Boch-Gallhau, U. Kodjoe, W Andritsky, and P. Koeppel, pp. 121-142. Berlin, Germany: VWB-Verlag für Wissenshaft and Bildung.

Gardner R.A. (2004). The Relationship Between the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) and the False Memory Syndrome (FMS), American Journal of Family Therapy, 32, 79-99.

Gardner, R.A. (2004). The Three Levels of Parental Alienation Syndrome Alienators, American Journal of Forensic Psychiatry, 25, 41.

Gardner, R.A. (2004). Commentary on Kelly and Johnston’s “The Alienated Child: A Reformulation of Parental Alienation Syndrome.” Family Court Review, 42, 622-628.

Gardner, R.A. (2006). The Parental Alienation Syndrome and the Corruptive Power of Anger. In The International Handbook of Parental Alienation Syndrome, eds. R. A. Gardner, S. R. Sauber, D. Lorandos, pp. 33-48, Springfield, IL: Charles C. Thomas.

Johnston, J. R. (1993). Children of Divorce Who Refuse Visitation. In Nonresidential Parenting: New Vistas in Family Living, ed. Depner, C. E. and Bray, J.H. London: Sage Publications.

Johnston, J, R. (2003). Parental alignments and rejection: an empircal study of alienation in children of divorce. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, 31,158-170.

Kelly, J.B., and Johnston, J.R. (2001). The alienated child: a reformulation of parental alienations syndrome. Family Court Review, 39(3), 249-267,
Kopetski, L. (1998). Identifying Cases of Parental Alienation Syndrome-Part I. The Colorado Lawyer , 27(2):65-68.

Kopetski, L. (1998), Identifying Cases of Parental Alienation Syndrome-Part I. The Colorado Lawyer , 27(2):65-68.

Lampel, A. (1986). Post-divorce therapy with high conflict families. The Independent Practioner, Bulletin of the Division of Psychologists in Independent Practice, Division 42 of the American Psychological Association, 6(3):22-6.

Lowenstein, L. F. (1998). Parent Alienation Syndrome: a two-step approach toward a solution. Contemporary Family Therapy, 20(4): 505-520.

Lund, M. (1995). A Therapist’s View of Parental Alienation Syndrome. Family and Conciliation Courts Review, 33(3):308-316.

Maccoby, E. E. and Mnookin, R. H. (1992). Dividing the Child: Social and Legal Dilemmas of Custody. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Major, J.A. (1999). Parents Who Have Successfully Fought Parental Alienation Syndrome. Aspen Family Law Journal. (in press).

Palmer, N.R. (1988). Legal Recognition of the Parental Alienation Syndrome. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 16(4):361-363.

Rand, D.C. (1997a). The Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome (part I). American Journal of Forensic Psychology. 15(3):23-51.

Rand, D.C. (1997b). The Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome (part II). American Journal of Forensic Psychology. 15(4):39-92.

Rand, D. C. (1993). Munchausen syndrome by proxy: a complex type of emotional abuse responsible for some false allegations of child abuse in divorce. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations, 5(3)135-55.

Rueda, C. (2004). An Inter-rater Reliability Study of Parental Alienation Syndrome. American Journal of Family Therapy, 32(5) 391-403.

Vassiliou, D. and Cartwright, G.F. (2001). The Lost Parent’s Perspective on Parental Alienation Syndrome. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 29(3): 181-191

Waldron, K.H. and Joanis, D.E. (1996), Understanding and Collaboratively Treating Parental Alienation Syndrome, Journal of Family Law, 10:121-133.

Walsh, M. R. and Bone, J. M. (1997). Parental Alienation Syndrome: An Age-old Custody Problem. The Florida Bar Journal, LXXI(6):93-96.

Willbourne, C. and Cull, L. (1997). The Emerging Problem of Parental Alienation. Family Law (British Publication) December, 1997, p. 807-808.

Siegel, J. C. and Langford, J. S. (1998), MMPI-2 Validity Scales and Suspected Parental Alienation Syndrome. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 16(4): 5-14.

Turkat, I.D. (1996), Relocation as a Strategy to Interfere with the Child-Parent Relationship, American Journal of Family Law, (11): 39-41.

Warshak, R.A. (1999), Psychological Syndromes:Parental Alienation Syndrome. Expert Witness Manual, Chapter 3-32. Dallas, TX: State Bar of Texas, Family Law Section.

Warshak, R.A. (2000). Remarriage as a Trigger of Parental Alienation Syndrome,” American Journal of Family Therapy, 28: 229-241.

Warshak, R.A. (2001). Current Controversies Regarding Parental Alienation Syndrome. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 19(3):29-59.

Warshak, R.A. (2002). Misdiagnosis of Parental Alienation Syndrome. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 20(1):31-52.

Warshak, R. A. (2003). Bringing Sense to Parental Alienation: A Look At the Disputes and the Evidence. Family Law Quarterly, 37(2): 273-301.

Warshak, R. A. (2003), Payoffs and Pitfalls of Listening to Children. Family Relations, 52(4), 373-384.

Warshak, R.A. (2002). Divorce Poison: Protecting the Parent-Child Bond From a Vindictive Ex. New York: ReganBooks.

Rueda, C. (2004). An Inter-rater Reliability Study of Parental Alienation Syndrome. American Journal of Family Therapy, 32(5) 391-403.

Patterson, D. (1991-92). The other victim: the falsely accused parent in a sexual abuse and custody case. Journal of Family Law, 30:919-941.

Rogers, M. (1992). Delusional disorder and the evolution of mistaken sexual allegations in child custody cases. American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 10(l):47-69.

Turkat, I.D. (2002). Shared Parenting Dysfunction. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 30:385-393.

Turkat, I.D. (1996). Relocation as a Strategy to Interfere with the Child-Parent Relationship, American Journal of Family Law, (11): 39-41.

Caveat: I included some books.  For those interested, some Journal articles may be found via web.  Most will not. They may be obtained via library and university. Check out Routledge Taylor and Francis Group to order journals. Lastly, the articles  differ in study, methodologies, and outcome. I will continue to include articles on an on-going basis.

Monika Logan

Peer Review « Parental Alienation Support.

Mental Disorder/Illness Opposition to Parental Alienation Syndrome – Part 2

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parents rights on December 16, 2009 at 1:24 am

Two disorders that affect/effect the opposition to Parental Alienation can be seen in what psychologist call projection.

On Wikipedia projection is:

Psychological projection or projection bias (including Freudian Projection) is the unconscious act of denial of a person’s own attributes, thoughts, and emotions, which are then ascribed to the outside world, such as to the weather, the government, a tool, or to other people.

Thus, it involves imagining or projecting that others have the same feelings or motives, rather than what they really think.
Projection is considered one of the most profound and subtle of human psychological processes, and extremely difficult to work with, because by its nature it is hidden.

It is the fundamental mechanism by which we keep ourselves uninformed about ourselves. Humor has great value in any attempt to work with projection, because humor presents a forgiving posture and thereby removes the threatening nature of any inquiry into the truth.


So-called “protective parents” have become a slimy campaign of stalking parent’s and children’s rights activists (known as Men’s Rights Activists, MRAs) on Facebook.  Many people go online and have many friends in the fathers, familes and children’s rights movement.  All of us who are above board with our support for reform, know who we are.
But there is a group of feminazis, who under cover of an assumed name called the Anonymums have continued to stalk both men and women on line and created lies to libel and slander our groups.

We welcome this kind of stalking.  Why?

No one friends them. 

No one believes them, especially the powers that be.

No one responds to their posts except themselves. 

No one in the real feminist movement wants anything to do with them.  What woman’s group would want anything to do with a mom that lost her kids?  C’mon get real.

What better evidence for cyberstalking does the FBI need.   Histrionics,  Paranoia and Borderline Personality Disorder trips from their posts.

What does projection have to do with this? From the anger and hatred that spews from these websites toward children and fathers and mothers who are parental alienated. You can only guess as to why they keep their identities secret.

By comparison, there are tens of thousands of MRAs may be even hundreds of thousands of parents and children suffering from the real phenomena of Parental Alienation Syndrome that are actively working to change family law nationwide. 

Sheer numbers have us winning.  Family Law will be reformed.  Domestic Violence and Custody laws will change and soon.  False allegations will be prosecuted.  Parental Alienation will be recognized in the Federal Courts as child abuse. (A current case is working its way to publication.)

The Elkins Family Task Force recommendation originating in my home county of Contra Costa will, in part, be implemented into law. Especially the false allegations portion and due process for fathers.

And the Anonymums? 

Left to stalking MRAs on Facebook, Google and WordPress.

Parental Alienation Syndrome to be highlighted on ABC’s 20/20 | Brainwashing Children

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parents rights on December 16, 2009 at 12:44 am

What could given further credence to PAS would be to allow the “pig pen mummies” onto the show and spew their hatred about “abusers” and “protective” parents horsehit. And when the hosts ask them why the “abusers” have the children and not them, let see them explain about Borderline, Histrionic and Paranoid Personality Disorders, whores of the court, and why suborning children is not a crime. (Suborning is the legal way of saying you made the children lie for you, “anonymous” mummies.)

Parental Alienation Syndrome to be highlighted on ABC’s 20/20

Posted on 14. Dec, 2009 by admin in Brainwashing

20/20 show on parental alienation syndromeABC News’ show 20/20 will be featuring a segment this Friday, with a brief appearance by Dr. Richard Warshak, the foremost author and psychologist on parental alienation syndrome, aka “children brainwashed to hate a parent.”

From Dr. Warshak’s site,

I expect this show to have a major impact in educating the public about the suffering of children who have been turned against a parent, and about what can be done to help ease a child’s transition back to a rejected parent.

The segment will be anchored by 20/20 reporter Chris Cuomo. This topic, mental child abuse, is vastly misunderstood by parents, therapists, judges, and lawyers alike, so I’m excited that it will be in front of a national audience. Dr. Warshak is the foremost authority on parent-child alienation, so ABC did great in choosing to interview him.

The segment should air in the first hour of the 2 hour show (9-11pm EST). expect this show to have a major impact in educating the public about the suffering of children who have been turned against a parent, and about what can be done to help ease a child’s transition back to a rejected parent.

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Parental Alienation Syndrome to be highlighted on ABC’s 20/20 | Brainwashing Children.