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Feminist Gulag: No Prosecution Necessary

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, custody, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Fit Parent, Foster CAre Abuse, Foster Care Scam, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on January 9, 2010 at 4:50 pm
Feminist Gulag: No Prosecution Necessary | Print | E-mail
Written by Stephen Baskerville
Thursday, 07 January 2010 00:00
//

proseutionLiberals rightly criticize America’s high rate of incarceration. Claiming to be the freest country on Earth, the United States incarcerates a larger percentage of its population than Iran or Syria. Over two million people, or nearly one in 50 adults, excluding the elderly, are incarcerated, the highest proportion in the world. Some seven million Americans, or 3.2 percent, are under penal supervision.

Many are likely to be innocent. In The Tyranny of Good Intentions (2000), Paul Craig Roberts and Lawrence Stratton document how due process protections are routinely ignored, grand juries are neutered, frivolous prosecutions abound, and jury trials are increasingly rare. More recently, in Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent (2009), Harvey Silverglate shows how federal prosecutors are criminalizing more and more of the population. “Innocence projects” — projects of “a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating wrongfully convicted people through DNA testing” — attest that people are railroaded into prison. As we will see, incarcerations without trial are now routine.

The U.S. prison population has risen dramatically in the last four decades. Ideologically, the rise is invariably attributed to “law-and-order” conservatives, who indeed seldom deny their own role (or indifference). In fact, few conservatives understand what they are defending.

Conservatives who rightly decry “judicial activism” in civil law are often blind to the connected perversion of criminal justice. While a politicized judiciary does free the guilty, it also criminalizes the -innocent.

But traditionalists upholding law and order were not an innovation of the 1970s. A newer and more militant force helped create the “carceral state.” In The Prison and the Gallows (2006), feminist scholar Marie Gottschalk points out that traditional conservatives were not the prime instigators, and blames “interest groups and social movements not usually associated with penal conservatism.” Yet she names only one: “the women’s movement.”

While America’s criminalization may have a number of contributing causes, it coincides precisely with the rise of organized feminism. “The women’s movement became a vanguard of conservative law-and-order politics,” Gottschalk writes. “Women’s organizations played a central role in the consolidation of this conservative victims’ rights movement that emerged in the 1970s.”

Gottschalk then twists her counterintuitive finding to condemn “conservatives” for the influx, portraying feminists as passive victims without responsibility. “Feminists prosecuting the war on rape and domestic violence” were somehow “captured and co-opted by the law-and-order agenda of politicians, state officials, and conservative groups.” Yet nothing indicates that feminists offered the slightest resistance to this political abduction.

Feminists, despite Gottschalk’s muted admission of guilt, did lead the charge toward wholesale incarceration. Feminist ideology has radicalized criminal justice and eroded centuries-old constitutional protections: New crimes have been created; old crimes have been redefined politically; the distinction between crime and private behavior has been erased; the presumption of innocence has been eliminated; false accusations go unpunished; patently innocent people are jailed without trial. “The new feminist jurisprudence hammers away at some of the most basic foundations of our criminal law system,” Michael Weiss and Cathy Young write in a Cato Institute paper. “Chief among them is the presumption that the accused is innocent until proven guilty.”

Feminists and other sexual radicals have even managed to influence the law to target conservative groups themselves. Racketeering statutes are marshaled to punish non-violent abortion demonstrators, and “hate crimes” laws attempt to silence critics of the homosexual agenda. Both are supported by “civil liberties” groups. And these are only the most notorious; there are others.

Feminists have been the most authoritarian pressure group throughout much of American history. “It is striking what an uncritical stance earlier women reformers took toward the state,” Gottschalk observes. “They have played central roles in … uncritically pushing for more enhanced policing powers.”

What Gottschalk is describing is feminism’s version of Stalinism: the process whereby radical movements commandeer the instruments of state repression as they trade ideological purity for power.

Path to Prison
The first politicized crime was rape. Suffragettes advocated castrating rapists. Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, who opposed it for everyone else, wanted rapists executed.

Aggressive feminist lobbying in the legislatures and courts since the 1970s redefined rape to make it indistinguishable from consensual sex. Over time, a woman no longer had to prove that she was forced to have non-consensual sex, but a man had to prove that sex was consensual (or prove that no sex had, in fact, happened). Non-consent was gradually eliminated as a definition, and consent became simply a mitigating factor for the defense. By 1989, the Washington State Supreme Court openly shifted the burden of proving consent to the defendant when it argued that the removal of legislative language requiring non-consent for rape “evidences legislative intent to shift the burden of proof on the issue to the defense” and approved this blatantly unconstitutional presumption of guilt. The result, write Weiss and Young, was not “to jail more violent rapists — lack of consent is easy enough for the state to prove in those cases — but to make it easier to send someone to jail for failing to get an explicit nod of consent from an apparently willing partner before engaging in sex.”

Men accused of rape today enjoy few safeguards. “People can be charged with virtually no evidence,” says Boston former sex-crimes prosecutor Rikki Klieman. “If a female comes in and says she was sexually assaulted, then on her word alone, with nothing else — and I mean nothing else, no investigation — the police will go out and arrest someone.”

Almost daily we see men released after decades in prison because DNA testing proves they were wrongly convicted. Yet the rape industry is so powerful that proof of innocence is no protection. “A defendant who can absolutely prove his innocence … can nonetheless still be convicted, based solely on the word of the accuser,” write Stuart Taylor and K.C. Johnson in Until Proven Innocent. In North Carolina, simply “naming the person accused” along with the time and place “will support a verdict of guilty.” Crime laboratories are notorious for falsifying results to obtain convictions.

The feminist dogma that “women never lie” goes largely unchallenged. “Any honest veteran sex assault investigator will tell you that rape is one of the most falsely reported crimes,” says Craig Silverman, a former Colorado prosecutor known for zealous prosecutions. Purdue University sociologist Eugene Kanin found that “41% of the total disposed rape cases were officially declared false” during a nine-year period, “that is, by the complainant’s admission that no rape had occurred.” Kanin discovered three functions of false accusations: “providing an alibi, seeking revenge, and obtaining sympathy and attention.” The Center for Military Readiness (CMR) adds that “false rape accusations also have been filed to extort money from celebrities, to gain sole custody of children in divorce cases, and even to escape military deployments to war zones.”

In the infamous Duke University lacrosse case, prosecutor Michael Nifong suppressed exculpating evidence and prosecuted men he knew to be innocent, according to Taylor and Johnson. Nifong himself was eventually disbarred, but he had willing accomplices among assistant prosecutors, police, crime lab technicians, judges, the bar, and the media. “Innocent men are arrested and even imprisoned as a result of bogus claims,” writes Linda Fairstein, former head of the sex-crimes unit for the Manhattan District Attorney, who estimates that half of all reports are unfounded.

Innocence projects are almost wholly occupied with rape cases (though they try to disguise this fact). Yet no systematic investigation has been undertaken by the media or civil libertarians into why so many innocent citizens are so easily incarcerated on fabricated allegations. The exoneration of the Duke students on obviously trumped-up charges triggered few investigations — and no official ones — to determine how widespread such rigged justice is against those unable to garner media attention.

The world of rape accusations displays features similar to other feminist gender crimes: media invective against the accused, government-paid “victim advocates” to secure convictions, intimidation of anyone who defends the accused. “Nobody dependent on the mainstream media for information about rape would have any idea how frequent false claims are,” write Taylor and Johnson. “Most journalists simply ignore evidence contradicting the feminist line.” What they observe of rape characterizes feminist justice generally: “calling a rape complainant ‘the victim’ — with no ‘alleged’.” “Unnamed complainants are labeled ‘victims’ even before legal proceedings determine that a crime has been committed,” according to CMR.

Rape hysteria, false accusations, and distorted scholarship are rampant on university campuses, which ostensibly exist to pursue truth. “If a woman did falsely accuse a man of rape,” opines one “women’s studies” graduate, “she may have had reasons to. Maybe she wasn’t raped, but he clearly violated her in some way.” This mentality pervades feminist jurisprudence, precluding innocence by obliterating the distinction between crime and hurt feelings. A Vassar College assistant dean believes false accusations foster men’s education: “I think it ideally initiates a process of self-exploration.… ‘If I didn’t violate her, could I have?’”

Conservative critics of the Duke fiasco avoided feminism’s role but instead emphasized race — a minor feature of the case but a safer one to criticize. Little evidence indicates that white people are being systematically incarcerated on fabricated accusations of non-existent crimes against blacks. This is precisely what is happening to men, both white and black, accused of rape and other “gender” crimes that feminists have turned into a political agenda.

The Kobe Bryant case demonstrates that a black man accused by a white woman is also vulnerable. Historically, this was the more common pattern. Our race-conscious society is conditioned to remember lynching as a racial atrocity, forgetting that the lynched were usually black men accused by white women. Feminist scholars spin this as “the dominant white male ideology behind lynching … that white womanhood was in need of protection against black men,” suggesting fantastically that white “patriarchy” used rape accusations to break up a progressive political romance developing between black men and white women. With false rape accusations, the races have changed, but the sexes have remained constant.

Violent Lies
“Domestic violence” is an even more purely political crime. “The battered-women’s movement turned out to be even more vulnerable to being co-opted by the state and conservative penal forces,” writes Gottschalk, again with contortion. Domestic violence groups are uniformly feminist, not “conservative,” though here too conservatives have enabled feminists to exchange principles for power.

Like rape, domestic “violence” is defined so loosely that it need not be violent. The U.S. Justice Department definition includes “extreme jealousy and possessiveness” and “name calling and constant criticizing.” For such “crimes” men are jailed with no trial. In fact, the very category of “domestic” violence was developed largely to circumvent due process requirements of conventional assault statutes. A study published in Criminology and Public Policy found that no one accused of domestic violence could be found innocent, since every arrestee received punishment.

Here, too, false accusations are rewarded. “Women lie every day,” attests Ottawa Judge Dianne Nicholas. “Every day women in court say, ‘I made it up. I’m lying. It didn’t happen’ — and they’re not charged.” Amazingly, bar associations sponsor seminars instructing women how to fabricate accusations. Thomas Kiernan, writing in the New Jersey Law Journal, expressed his astonishment at “the number of women attending the seminars who smugly — indeed boastfully — announced that they had already sworn out false or grossly exaggerated domestic violence complaints against their hapless husbands, and that the device worked!” He added, “The lawyer-lecturers invariably congratulated the self-confessed miscreants.”

Domestic violence has become “a backwater of tautological pseudo-theory,” write Donald Dutton and Kenneth Corvo in Aggression and Violent Behavior. “No other area of established social welfare, criminal justice, public health, or behavioral intervention has such weak evidence in support of mandated practice.” Scholars and practitioners have repeatedly documented how “allegations of abuse are now used for tactical advantage” in custody cases and “become part of the gamesmanship of divorce.” Domestic abuse has become “an area of law mired in intellectual dishonesty and injustice,” according to the Rutgers Law Review.

Restraining orders removing men from their homes and children are summarily issued without any evidence. Due process protections are so routinely ignored that, the New Jersey Law Journal reports, one judge told his colleagues, “Your job is not to become concerned about the constitutional rights of the man that you’re violating.” Attorney David Heleniak calls New Jersey’s statute “a due process fiasco” in the Rutgers Law Review. New Jersey court literature openly acknowledges that due process is ignored because it “perpetuates the cycle of power and control whereby the [alleged?] perpetrator remains the one with the power and the [alleged?] victim remains powerless.” Omitting “alleged” is standard even in statutes, where, the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly reports, “the mere allegation of domestic abuse … may shift the burden of proof to the defendant.”

Special “integrated domestic violence courts” presume guilt and then, says New York’s openly feminist chief judge, “make batterers and abusers take responsibility for their actions.” They can seize property, including homes, without the accused being convicted or even formally charged or present to defend himself. Lawyer Walter Fox describes these courts as “pre-fascist”: “Domestic violence courts … are designed to get around the protections of the criminal code. The burden of proof is reduced or removed, and there’s no presumption of innocence.”

Forced confessions are widespread. Pennsylvania men are incarcerated unless they sign forms stating, “I have physically and emotionally battered my partner.” The man must then describe the violence, even if he insists he committed none. “I am responsible for the violence I used,” the forms declare. “My behavior was not provoked.”

Child-support Chokehold
Equally feminist is the child-support machinery, whereby millions have their family finances plundered and their lives placed under penal supervision without having committed any legal infraction. Once they have nothing left to loot, they too are incarcerated without trial.

Contrary to government propaganda (and Common Law tradition), child support today has little to do with fathers abandoning their children, deserting their marriages, or even agreeing to a divorce. It is automatically assessed on all non-custodial parents, even those involuntarily divorced without grounds (“no-fault”). It is an entitlement for all divorcing mothers, regardless of their actions, and coerced from fathers, regardless of their fidelity. The “deadbeat dad” is far less likely to be a man who abandoned the offspring he callously sired than to be a loving father who has been, as attorney Jed Abraham writes in From Courtship to Courtroom, “forced to finance the filching of his own children.”

Federalized enforcement was rationalized to reimburse taxpayers for welfare. Under feminist pressure, taxpayers instead subsidize middle-class divorce, through federal payments to states based on the amount of child support they collect. By profiting off child support at federal taxpayer expense, state governments have a financial incentive to encourage as many single-mother homes as possible. They, in turn, encourage divorce with a guaranteed, tax-free windfall to any divorcing mother.

While child support (like divorce itself) is awarded ostensibly without reference to “fault,” nonpayment brings swift and severe punishments. “The advocates of ever-more-aggressive measures for collecting child support,” writes Bryce Christensen of Southern Utah University, “have moved us a dangerous step closer to a police state.” Abraham calls the machinery “Orwellian”: “The government commands … a veritable gulag, complete with sophisticated surveillance and compliance capabilities such as computer-based tracing, license revocation, asset confiscation, and incarceration.”

Here, too, “the burden of proof may be shifted to the defendant,” according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Like Kafka’s Joseph K., the “defendant” may not even know the charge against him, “if the court does not explicitly clarify the charge facing the [allegedly?] delinquent parent,” says NCSL. Further, “not all child support contempt proceedings classified as criminal are entitled to a jury trial,” and “even indigent obligors are not necessarily entitled to a lawyer.” Thus defendants must prove their innocence against unspecified accusations, without counsel, and without a jury.

Assembly-line hearings can last 30 seconds to two minutes, during which parents are sentenced to months or years in prison. Many receive no hearing but are accused in an “expedited judicial process” before a black-robed lawyer known as a “judge surrogate.” Because these officials require no legislative confirmation, they are not accountable to citizens or their representatives. Unlike true judges, they may lobby to create the same laws they adjudicate, violating the separation of powers. Often they are political activists in robes. One surrogate judge, reports the Telegraph of Hudson, New Hampshire, simultaneously worked “as a radical feminist lobbying on proposed legislation” dealing with child support.

Though governments sensationalize “roundups” of alleged “deadbeat dads,” who are jailed for months and even years without trial, no government information whatever is available on incarcerations. The Bureau of Justice Statistics is utterly silent on child-support incarcerations. Rebecca May of the Center for Family Policy and Practice found “ample testimony by low-income non-custodial parents of spending time in jail for the nonpayment of child support.” Yet she could find no documentation of their incarceration. Government literature “yields so little information on it that one might be led to believe that arrests were used rarely if at all. While May personally witnessed fathers sentenced in St. Louis, “We could find no explicit documentation of arrests in St. Louis.” In Illinois, “We observed courtrooms in which fathers appeared before the judge who were serving jail sentences for nonpayment, but little information was available on arrests in Illinois.”

We know the arrests are extensive. To relieve jail overcrowding in Georgia, a sheriff and judge proposed creating detention camps specifically for “deadbeat dads.” The Pittsburgh City Planning Commission has considered a proposal “to convert a former chemical processing plant … into a detention center” for “deadbeat dads.”

Rendered permanently in debt by incarceration, fathers are farmed out to trash companies and similar concerns, where they work 14-16 hour days with their earnings confiscated.

More Malicious Mayhem
Other incarcerations are also attributable to feminism. The vast preponderance of actual violent crime and substance abuse proceeds from single-parent homes and fatherless children more than any other factor, far surpassing race and poverty. The explosion of single parenthood is usually and resignedly blamed on paternal abandonment, with the only remedy being ever-more draconian but ineffective child-support “crackdowns.” Yet no evidence indicates that the proliferation of single-parent homes results from absconding fathers. If instead we accept that single motherhood is precisely what feminists say it is — the deliberate choice of their sexual revolution — it is then apparent that sexual liberation lies behind not only these newfangled sexual crimes, but also the larger trend of actual crime and incarceration. Feminism is driving both the criminalization of the innocent and the criminality of the guilty.

We will continue to fight a losing battle against crime, incarceration, and expansive government power until we confront the sexual ideology that is driving not only family breakdown and the ensuing social anomie, but the criminalization of the male population. Ever-more-repressive penal measures will only further erode freedom. Under a leftist regime, conservatives must rethink their approach to crime and punishment and their unwitting collusion with America’s homegrown Stalinists.

Stephen Baskerville is associate professor of government at Patrick Henry College and author of Taken Into Custody: The War Against Fathers, Marriage, and the Family.

Feminist Gulag: No Prosecution Necessary.

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Crystel Strelioff’s family; History of PAS

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-IV, DSM-V, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, federal crimes, Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting, state crimes on November 20, 2009 at 4:30 am
November 18, 12:56 PMLA Family Courts ExaminerLaura Lynn

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PAS, Parental Alienation Syndrome knows no gender boundaries. You may not like the term PAS, but there is a behavior exhibited by some parents that cause the children to tell lies, and maybe even begin to believe those lies, about another parent.

There was some discussion about Crystel Strelioff, serving time for abducting her children. One of the children, now an adult, spoke at the Elkins Family Task Force Hearing in Los Angeles recently. He implied that his father had sexually abused him for 15 years while the court stood by.

I am certain tragedies like that do happen, but I am equally certain that in this particular case, there was no abuse by the father. The father had no contact with the son since 2004 and very little contact before that.

But, here is deposition testimony from court appointed evaluator Joanne Feigin in regards to Crystel’s brother Tim. The children’s names have been changed and their parent’s identity slightly veiled. Otherwise, this testimony is verbatim. There was no cross examination in regards to these statements.

Lawyer: At that time you interviewed the child again, this is since the last — since report number one, at that interview the child told you that his dad [Tim] told him to say to you “I want 100 percent with my dad and no time with mom”; is that correct?

Joanne Feigin: Yes.

Lawyer: As a matter of fact, you state in your report on page 24 that the child clearly — you use the word “clearly” — indicated that his father had told him very explicitly — and you use the word “explicitly” –to talk to [Ms. Feigin] about his preference and what to say about it. Is that correct?

Joanne Feigin: Correct.

Later…about an anti-drug video made by Tim with the mother acting as the drug addict, a video given to Joanne Feigin by either Tim or Crystel’s mother Helen, given without the soundtrack and only an explanation they thought the mother was using drugs…

Lawyer: Now, also in report one, I’m just going to just hit on this because you testified to it, that Tim alleged that the mother was using cocaine; correct?

Joanne Feigin: Correct.

Lawyer: He showed you a video which involved the mother?

Joanne Feigin: Correct.

Lawyer: And I think you even stated in the report that the father was disingenuous and deceptive; is that correct?

Joanne Feigin: Correct.

Lawyer: And that’s relating to the video?

Joanne Feigin: Yes.

Lawyer: And how he labeled it?

Joanne Feigin: Yes.

If Crystel’s family was showing this deceptive tape to the court appointed evaluator, who else did they show it to? The children?

And why, after this testimony, did the LASC commissioner transfer custody of the children from the mother to the father? Whether you call it PAS or just “lies told about one parent by the other parent”, isn’t this behavior that does not foster a relationship between both parents?

Crystel Strelioff’s family; History of PAS.

Parental Alienation Mommy Tossed in Jail for Abducting Children

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, child trafficking, Children and Domestic Violence, children criminals, Childrens Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, federal crimes, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads on November 11, 2009 at 7:18 pm

November 10, 2009

WEST DUNDEE — A former West Dundee woman was sentenced to prison for abducting her two minor children in 2004.

Crystel A. Strelioff, 53, was sentenced Friday by 16th Circuit Court Associate Judge T. Jordan Gallagher to three years in the Illinois Department of Corrections.

A Kane County jury had convicted Strelioff of four counts of child abduction — each a Class 4 felony — after a three-day trial in February. She later was arrested on a warrant and has been in custody at the Kane County Jail since May, according to the state’s attorney’s office.

In February 2004, Strelioff intentionally violated a court order by taking her two children from the jurisdiction of the Kane County court to California, according to authorities. Her last known address was in Newhall, Calif.

The court order was issued by a Kane County judge in an April 2000 custody ruling. The ruling noted that a psychologist had reported Strelioff’s “conduct is a form of parental alienation toward” her ex-husband. For that and other reasons, custody of the two children was granted to their father, Brian Strelioff, the judge’s ruling said.

One child is no longer a minor, and the other is under 13, according to the state’s attorney’s office.

In addition to the prison sentence, Strelioff was ordered to pay $73,340 in restitution to Brian Streliof. She was given day-for-day sentencing, as well as credit for 185 days already served in the Kane County Jail.

Mom sentenced to prison for abducting kids :: The Courier News :: Local News.

Does DSM-IV Have Equivalents for the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Diagnosis?

In adoption abuse, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, Child Custody, child trafficking, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, DSM-IV, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Foster CAre Abuse, judicial corruption, MMPI, MMPI 2, mothers rights, Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, National Parents Day, Obama, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, state crimes on November 7, 2009 at 6:30 pm

Does DSM-IV Have Equivalents for the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Diagnosis?

Richard A. Gardner. M.D.
Department of Child Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons
Columbia University, New York, New York, USA

Child custody evaluators commonly find themselves confronted with resistance when they attempt to use the term parental alienation syndrome (PAS) in courts of law. Although convinced that the patient being evaluated suffers with the disorder, they often find that the attorneys who represent alienated parents, although agreeing with the diagnosis, will discourage use of the term in the evaluators’ reports and testimony. Most often, they will request that the evaluator merely use the term parental alienation (PA). On occasion they will ask whether other DSM-IV diagnoses may be applicable. The purpose of this article is to elucidate the reasons for the reluctance to use the PAS diagnosis and the applicability of PA as well as current DSM-IV substitute diagnoses.

Mental health professionals, family law attorneys, and judges are generally in agreement that in recent years we have seen a disorder in which one parent alienates the child against the other parent. This problem is especially common in the context of child-custody disputes where such programming enables the indoctrinating parent to gain leverage in the court of law. There is significant controversy, however, regarding the term to use for this phenomenon. In 1985 I introduced the term parental alienation syndrome to describe this phenomenon (Gardner, 1985a).

The Parental Alienation Syndrome

In association with this burgeoning of child-custody litigation, we have witnessed a dramatic increase in the frequency of a disorder rarely seen previously, a disorder that I refer to as the parental alienation syndrome (PAS). In this disorder we see not only programming (“brainwashing”) of the child by one parent to denigrate the other parent, but self-created contributions by the child in support of the alienating parent’s campaign of denigration against the alienated parent. Because of the child’s contribution I did not consider the terms brainwashing, programming, or other equivalent words to be sufficient. Furthermore, I observed a cluster of symptoms that typically appear together, a cluster that warranted the designation syndrome. Accordingly, I introduced the term parental alienation syndrome to encompass the combination of these two contributing factors that contributed to the development of the syndrome (Gardner, 1985a). In accordance with this use of the term I suggest this definition of the parental alienation syndrome:

The parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a childhood disorder that arises almost exclusively in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the target parent. When true parental abuse and/or neglect is present, the child’s animosity may be justified and so the parental alienation syndrome explanation for the child’s hostility is not applicable.

It is important to note that indoctrinating a PAS into a child is a form of abuse—emotional abuse—because it can reasonably result in progressive attenuation of the psychological bond between the child and a loving parent. In many cases it can result in total destruction of that bond, with lifelong alienation. In some cases, then, it may be even worse than other forms of abuse, e.g., physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. A parent who demonstrates such reprehensible behavior has a serious parenting defect, their professions of exemplary parenting notwithstanding. Typically, they are so intent on destroying the bond between the child and the alienated parent that they blind themselves to the formidable psychological consequences on the child of their PAS indoctrinations, both at the time of the indoctrinations and in the future.

Most evaluators, family law attorneys, and judges recognize that such programming and child alienation is common in the context of child-custody disputes. They agree, also, that there are situations in which the child’s alienation is the result of parental programming. Some object to the use of the term syndrome and claim that it is not a syndrome, but that the term parental alienation (PA) should be used. The problem with the use of the term PA is that there are many reasons why a child might be alienated from parents, reasons having nothing to do with programming. A child might be alienated from a parent because of parental abuse of the child, e.g., physical, emotional, or sexual. A child might be alienated because of parental neglect. Children with conduct disorders are often alienated from their parents, and adolescents commonly go through phases of alienation. The PAS is well viewed as one subtype of parental alienation. Accordingly, substituting the term PA for PAS cannot but cause confusion.

Is the PAS a True Syndrome?

Some who prefer to use the term parental alienation (PA) claim that the PAS is not really a syndrome. This position is especially seen in courts of law in the context of child-custody disputes. 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. The term syndrome is more specific than the related term disease. A disease is usually a more general term, because there can be many causes of a particular disease. For example, pneumonia is a disease, but there are many types of pneumonia—e.g., pneumococcal pneumonia and bronchopneumonia—each of which has more specific symptoms, and each of which could reasonably be considered a syndrome (although common usage may not utilize the term).

The syndrome has a purity because most (if not all) of the symptoms in the cluster predictably manifest themselves together as a group. Often, the symptoms appear to be unrelated, but they actually are because they usually have a common etiology. 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 faces, drooping lips, slanting eyes, short fifth finger, and atypical creases in the palms of the hands. Down’s Syndrome patients 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
  9.  

Typically, children who suffer with PAS will exhibit most (if not all) of these symptoms. 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. Because of this purity, the PAS lends itself well to research studies because the population to be studied can usually be easily identified. Furthermore, I am confident that this purity will be verified by future interrater reliability studies. In contrast, children subsumed under the rubric PA are not likely to lend themselves well to research studies because of the wide variety of disorders to which it can refer, e.g., physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, and defective parenting. As is true of other syndromes, there is in the PAS a specific 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.

In contrast, PA is not a syndrome and has no specific underlying cause. Nor do the proponents of the term PA claim that it is a syndrome. Actually, PA can be viewed as a group of syndromes, which share in common the phenomenon of the child’s alienation from a parent. To refer to PA as a group of syndromes would, by necessity, lead to the conclusion that the PAS is one of the syndromes subsumed under the PA rubric and would thereby weaken the argument of those who claim that PAS is not a syndrome.

The PAS and DSM-IV

There are some, especially adversaries in child-custody disputes, who claim that there is no such entity as the PAS. This position is especially likely to be taken by legal and mental health professionals who are supporting the position of someone who is clearly a PAS programmer. The main argument given to justify this position is that the PAS does not appear in DSM-IV. To say that PAS does not exist because it is not listed in DSM-IV is like saying in 1980 that AIDS (Autoimmune Deficiency Syndrome) did not exist because it was not then listed in standard diagnostic medical textbooks. DSM-IV was published in 1994. From 1991 to 1993, when DSM committees were meeting to consider the inclusion of additional disorders, there were too few articles in the literature to warrant submission of the PAS for consideration. That is no longer the case. It is my understanding that committees will begin to meet for the next edition of the DSM (probably to be called DSM-V) in 2002 or 2003. Considering the fact that there are now at least 133 articles in peer-review journals on the PAS, it is highly likely that by that time there will be even more articles. (A list of peer-reviewed PAS articles is to be found on my website, www.rgardner.com/refs, a list that is continually being updated.)

It is important to note that DSM-IV does not frivolously accept every new proposal. Their requirements are very stringent with regard to the inclusion of newly described clinical entities. The committees require many years of research and numerous publications in peer-review scientific journals before considering the inclusion of a disorder, and justifiably so. Gille de La Tourette first described his syndrome in 1885. It was not until 1980, 95 years later, that the disorder found its way into the DSM. It is important to note that at that point, Tourette’s Syndrome became Tourette’s Disorder. Asperger first described his syndrome in 1957. It was not until 1994, 37 years later, that it was accepted into DSM-IV and Asperger’s Syndrome became Asperger’s Disorder.

DSM-IV states specifically that all disorders contained in the volume are “syndromes or patterns” (p. xxi), and they would not be there if they were not syndromes (American Psychiatric Association, 1994). Once accepted, the name syndrome is changed to disorder. However, this is not automatically the pattern for nonpsychiatric disorders. Often the term syndrome becomes locked into the name and becomes so well known that changing the word syndrome to disorder would seem awkward. For example, Down’s syndrome, although well recognized, has never become Down’s disorder. Similarly, AIDS (Autoimmune Deficiency Syndrome) is a well-recognized disease but still retains the syndrome term.

One of the most important (if not the most important) determinants as to whether a newly described disorder will be accepted into the DSM is the quantity and quality of research articles on the clinical entity, especially articles that have been published in peer-review journals. The committees are particularly interested in interrater reliability studies that will validate the relative “purity” of the disease entity being described. PAS lends itself well to such studies; PA does not. One of the first steps one must take when setting up a scientific study is to define and circumscribe the group(s) being studied. PAS lends itself well to such circumscription. PA is so diffuse and all-encompassing that no competent researcher would consider such a group to be a viable object of study. Whether one is going to study etiology, symptomatic manifestations, pathogenesis, treatment modalities, treatment efficacy, or conduct follow-up studies, one is more likely to obtain meaningful results if one starts with a discrete group (such as PAS) than if one starts with an amorphous group (such as PA). One of the major criticisms directed against many research projects is that the authors’ study group was not “pure” enough and/or well-selected enough to warrant the professed conclusions. Studies of PAS children are far less likely to justify this criticism than studies of PA children.

Whereas the PAS may ultimately be recognized in DSM-V, it is extremely unlikely that DSM committees will consider an entity referred to as parental alienation. It is too vague a term and covers such a wide variety of clinical phenomena that they could not justifiably be clumped together to warrant inclusion in DSM as a specific disorder. Because listing in the DSM ensures admissibility in courts of law, those who use the term PA instead of PAS are lessening the likelihood that PAS will be listed in DSM-V. The result will be that many PAS families will be deprived of the proper recognition they deserve in courts of law, which often depend heavily on the DSM.

Recognition of the PAS in Courts of Law

Some who hesitate to use the term PAS claim that it has not been accepted in courts of law. This is not so. Although there are certainly judges who have not recognized the PAS, there is no question that courts of law with increasing rapidity are recognizing the disorder. My website (www.rgardner.com/refs) currently cites 66 cases in which the PAS has been recognized. By the time this article is published, the number of citations will certainly be greater. Furthermore, I am certain that there are other citations that have not been brought to my attention.

It is important to note that on January 30, 2001, after a two-day hearing devoted to whether the PAS satisfied Frye Test criteria for admissibility in a court of law, a Tampa, Florida court ruled that the PAS had gained enough acceptance in the scientific community to be admissible in a court of law (Kilgore v. Boyd, 2001). This ruling was subsequently affirmed by the District Court of Appeals (February 6, 2001). In the course of my testimony, I brought to the court’s attention the more than 100 peer-reviewed articles (there are 133 at the time of this writing) by approximately 150 other authors and over 40 court rulings (there are 66 at the time of this writing) in which the PAS had been recognized. These lists of the PAS peer-reviewed articles and legal citations are frequently updated on my website (www.rgardner.com). I am certain that these publications played an important role in the judge’s decision. This case will clearly serve as a precedent and facilitate the admission of the PAS in other cases—not only in Florida, but elsewhere.

Whereas there are some courts of law that have not recognized PAS, there are far fewer courts that have not recognized PA. This is one of the important arguments given by those who prefer the term PA. They do not risk an opposing attorney claiming that PA does not exist or that courts of law have not recognized it. There are some evaluators who recognize that children are indeed suffering with a PAS, but studiously avoid using the term in their reports and courtroom, because they fear that their testimony will not be admissible. Accordingly, they use PA, which is much safer, because they are protected from the criticisms so commonly directed at those who use PAS. Later in this article I will detail the reasons why I consider this position injudicious.

Many of those who espouse PA claim not to be concerned with the fact that their more general construct will be less useful in courts of law. Their primary interest, they profess, is the expansion of knowledge about children’s alienation from parents. Considering the fact that the PAS is primarily (if not exclusively) a product of the adversary system, and considering the fact that PAS symptoms are directly proportionate to the intensity of the parental litigation, and considering the fact that the court that has more power than the therapist to alleviate and even cure the disorder, PA proponents who claim no concern for the long-term legal implications of their position are injudicious and, I suspect, their claims of unconcern are specious.

Sources of the Controversy Over the Parental Alienation Syndrome

There are some who claim that because there is such controversy swirling around the PAS, there must be something specious about the existence of the disorder. Those who discount the PAS entirely because it is “controversial” sidestep the real issues, namely, what specifically has engendered the controversy, and, more importantly, is the PAS formulation reasonable and valid? The fact that something is controversial does not invalidate it. But why do we have such controversy over the PAS? 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. Why, then, should there be such controversy over whether or not PAS exists?

The PAS and the Adversary System

The PAS is very much a product of the adversary system (Gardner, 1985a, 1986, 1987a, 1987b, 1989, 1992, 1998). Furthermore, a court of law is generally the place where clients attempt to resolve the PAS. Most newly developed scientific principles inevitably become controversial when they are dealt with in the courtroom. It behooves the attorneys — when working within the adversary system — to take an adversarial stand and create controversy where it may not exist. In that setting, it behooves one side to take just the opposite position from the other if one is to prevail. Furthermore, it behooves each attorney to attempt to discredit the experts of the opposing counsel. 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 for identifying perpetrators. Yet the jury saw fit to question the validity of such evidence, and DNA became, for that trial, controversial. I strongly suspect that those jury members who concluded that DNA evidence was not scientifically valid for OJ Simpson would have vehemently fought for its admissibility if they themselves were being tried for a crime, which they did not commit. I am certain, as well, that any man in that jury who found himself falsely accused of paternity would be quite eager to accept DNA proof of his innocence.

The Denial of the PAS is the Primary Defense of the Alienator

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. The reasoning goes like this: “If there is no such thing as the PAS, then there is no programmer, and therefore my client cannot be accused of brainwashing the children.” This is an extremely important point, and I cannot emphasize it strongly enough. It is a central element in the controversy over the PAS, a controversy that has been played out in courtrooms not only in the United States but in various other countries as well. And if the allegedly dubious lawyer can demonstrate that the PAS is not listed in DSM-IV, then the position is considered “proven” (I say “allegedly” because the lawyer may well recognize the PAS but is only serving his client by his deceitfulness). The only thing this proves is that in 1994 DSM-IV did not list the PAS. The lawyers hope, however, that the judge will be taken in by this specious argument and will then conclude that if there is no PAS, there is no programming, and so the client is thereby exonerated. Substituting the term PA circumvents this problem. No alienator is identified, the sources are vaguer, and the causes could lie with the mother, the father, or both. The drawback here is that the evaluator may not provide the court with proper information about the cause of the children’s alienation. It lessens the likelihood, then, that the court will have the proper data with which to make its recommendations.

Which Term to Use in the Courtroom: PA or PAS?

Many examiners, then, even those who recognize the existence of the PAS, may consciously and deliberately choose to use the term parental alienation in the courtroom. Their argument may go along these lines: “I fully recognize that there is such a disease as the PAS. I have seen many such cases and it is a widespread phenomenon. However, if I mention PAS in my report, I expose myself to criticism in the courtroom such as, ‘It doesn’t exist,’ ‘It’s not in DSM-IV’ etc. Therefore, I just use PA, and no one denies that.” I can recognize the attractiveness of this argument, but I have serious reservations about this way of dealing with the controversy—especially in a court of law.

Using PA is basically a terrible disservice to the PAS family because the cause of the children’s alienation is not properly identified. It is also a compromise in one’s obligation to the court, which is to provide accurate and useful information so that the court will be in the best position to make a proper ruling. Using PA is an abrogation of this responsibility; using PAS is in the service of fulfilling this obligation.

Furthermore, evaluators who use PA instead of PAS are losing sight of the fact that they are impeding the general acceptance of the term in the courtroom. This is a disservice to the legal system, because it deprives the legal network of the more specific PAS diagnosis that could be more helpful to courts for dealing with such families. Moreover, using the PA term is shortsighted because it lessens the likelihood that some future edition of DSM will recognize the subtype of PA that we call PAS. This not only has diagnostic implications, but even more importantly, therapeutic implications. The diagnoses included in the DSM serve as a foundation for treatment. The symptoms listed therein serve as guidelines for therapeutic interventions and goals. Insurance companies (who are always quick to look for reasons to deny coverage) strictly refrain from providing coverage for any disorder not listed in the DSM. Accordingly, PAS families cannot expect to be covered for treatment. I describe below additional diagnoses that are applicable to the PAS, diagnoses that justify requests for insurance coverage. Examiners in both the mental health and legal professions who genuinely recognize the PAS, but who refrain from using the term until it appears in DSM, are lessening the likelihood that it will ultimately be included, because widespread utilization is one of the criteria that DSM committees consider. Such restraint, therefore, is an abrogation of their responsibility to contribute to the enhancement of knowledge in their professions.

There is, however, a compromise. I use PAS in all those reports in which I consider the diagnosis justified. I also use the PAS term throughout my testimony. However, I sometimes make comments along these lines, both in my reports and in my testimony:

Although I have used the term PAS, the important questions for the court are: Are these children alienated? What is the cause of the alienation? and What can we then do about it? So if one wants to just use the term PA, one has learned something. But we haven’t really learned very much, because everyone involved in this case knows well that the children have been alienated. The question is what is the cause of the children’s alienation? In this case the alienation is caused by the mother’s (father’s) programming and something must be done about protecting the children from the programming. That is the central issue for this court in this case, and it is more important than whether one is going to call the disorder PA or PAS, even though I strongly prefer the PAS term for the reasons already given.

In addition, if the court does not wish to recognize the PAS diagnosis there are other DSM-IV diagnoses that are very much applicable in this case. For the alienating father (mother) the following diagnoses are warranted: (the examiner can select from the list provided in the next section of this article). For the PAS child the following DSM-IV diagnoses are warranted: (the examiner can select from the list provided in the next section of this article). With regard to the alienated parent, the mother (father), no DSM-IV diagnosis is warranted. (However, a DSM-IV diagnosis may be warranted, but generally it is not related to the PAS as the symptoms have not played a role in contributing to the disorder).

I wish to emphasize that I do not routinely include this compromise, because whenever I do so, I recognize that I am providing support for those who are injudiciously eschewing the term and compromising thereby their professional obligations to their clients and the court.

Warshak (1999, 2001), has also addressed the PA vs. PAS controversy. He emphasizes the point that espousers of both PA and PAS agree that in the severe cases the only hope for the victimized children is significant restriction of the programmer’s access to the children and, in many cases, custodial transfer—sometimes via a transitional site. Warshak concludes that the arguments for the utilization for PAS outweigh the arguments for the utilization of PA, although he has more sympathy for the PA position than do I. Elsewhere, I have also addressed myself to this issue (Gardner, 2002).

DSM-IV Diagnoses Related to the Parental Alienation Syndrome

Examiners writing reports for and testifying in courts of law can generally find diagnoses in DSM-IV that are immune to the argument, “It doesn’t exist because it’s not in DSM-IV.” These diagnoses are not identical to the PAS, but they have common elements that can justify their utilization. None of them, however, are identical to the PAS and cannot be used as substitutes for it. I present here those that are most applicable and potentially useful in courts of law.

Diagnoses Applicable to Both Alienating Parents and PAS Childrem

297.3 Shared Psychotic Disorder

     

  1. A delusion develops in an individual in the context of a close relationship with another person(s) who has an already-established delusion.
  2. The delusion is similar in content to that of the person who already has the established delusion.
  3.  

This DSM-IV diagnosis is warranted in some of the severe PAS cases in which the programmer is paranoid, and the child’s campaign of denigration incorporates the same paranoid ideation. In a sense, most of the moderate, and even some of the mild cases of PAS, are examples of the folie à deux phenomenon. However, one cannot justifiably consider the mild and moderate cases of PAS to warrant the label psychotic with the implication of complete break with reality. In severe cases we do see bona fide delusions of persecution that can justifiably be considered paranoid. Most often, the delusional system is circumscribed to the alienated parent. It is important to note that this single diagnosis can be applied to both the alienator and the alienated child.

V61.20 Parent-Child Relational Problem

This category should be used when the focus of clinical attention is a pattern of interaction between parent and child (e.g., impaired communication, overprotection, inadequate discipline) that is associated with clinically significant impairment in individual or family functioning or the development of clinically significant symptoms in parent or child.

This diagnosis generally applies to a dyad. Obviously, there are a wide variety of parent-child relational problems that have nothing to do with PAS. In fact, it is reasonable to state that parent-child relational problems probably began with the first families that existed. This diagnosis is an excellent example of the aforementioned principle that none of the DSM-IV diagnoses described here can be reasonably substituted for the PAS. Rather, they are best viewed as disorders that have some symptoms in common with the PAS and may therefore justify being listed as additional diagnoses.

In the PAS situation there is a pathological dyad between the alienating parent and the child and another pathological dyad between the alienated parent and the child. The pathological dyad between the alienated parent and the child is one in which the child is being programmed into a campaign of denigration against the previously loving parent. The child is being programmed to exhibit any and all of the primary symptomatic manifestations of the PAS. With regard to the relationship between the child and the alienated parent, the child exhibits inordinate hostility, denigration, and fear of the target parent to the point where that parent is viewed as noxious and loathsome. Examiners using this criterion do well to emphasize that two separate parent-child relational problems are manifested.

Diagnoses Applicable to Alienating Parents

297.71 Delusional Disorder

     

  1. Nonbizarre delusions (i.e., involving situations that occur in real life, such as being followed, poisoned, infected, loved at a distance, or deceived by spouse or lover, or having a disease) of at least 1 month’s duration.
  2.  

Of the various subtypes of delusional disorder, the one that is most applicable to the PAS:

Persecutory Type: delusions that the person (or someone to whom the person is close) is being malevolently treated in some way

This diagnosis is generally applicable to the PAS indoctrinator who may initially recognize that the complaints about the behavior of the alienated parent are conscious and deliberate fabrications. However, over time, the fabrications may become delusions, actually believed by the programming parent. And the same process may ultimately be applicable to the child. Specifically, at first the child may recognize that the professions of hatred are feigned and serve to ingratiate the child to the programmer. However, over time the child may come to actually believe what were originally conscious and deliberate fabrications. When that point is reached the delusional disorder diagnosis is applicable to the child. Generally, this diagnosis is applicable to relentless programmers who are obsessed with their hatred of the victim parent, by which time the child will have probably entered the severe level of PAS. It is to be noted that when the PAS is present, most often one observes a circumscribed delusional system, confined almost exclusively to the alienated parent. This diagnosis may also be applicable to the PAS child, especially the child who is in the severe category.

301.0 Paranoid Personality Disorder

     

  1. A pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:
    1. suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her
    2. is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates
    3. is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him or her
    4. reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events
    5. persistently bears grudges, i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights
    6. perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack
    7. has recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner
  2.  

PAS programmers who warrant this diagnosis would often satisfy these criteria before the marital separation. A detailed history from the victim parent as well as collaterals may be important because the programming parent is not likely to directly reveal such symptoms. They may, however, reveal them in the course of the evaluation, because they are such deep-seated traits, and are so deeply embedded in their personality structure, that they cannot be hidden. Most people involved in protracted child-custody litigation become “a little paranoid,” and this is often revealed by elevations on the paranoid scale of the MMPI. After all, there are indeed people who are speaking behind the patient’s back, are plotting against them, and are developing schemes and strategies with opposing lawyers. This reality results in an elevation of the paranoid scale in people who would not have manifested such elevations prior to the onset of the litigation. We see here how adversarial proceedings intensify psychopathology in general (Gardner, 1986), and in this case, paranoid psychopathology especially. The PAS child is less likely to warrant this diagnosis. When the severe level is reached PAS children may warrant the aforementioned Shared Psychotic Disorder diagnosis. On occasion, the diagnosis Schizophrenia, Paranoid Type (295.30) is warranted for the programming parent, but such patients generally exhibited other manifestations of schizophrenia, especially prior to the separation. It goes beyond the purposes of this paper to detail the marital symptoms of schizophrenia which should be investigated if the examiner has reason to believe that this diagnosis may be applicable.

It is important for the examiner to appreciate that there is a continuum from delusional disorder, to paranoid personality disorder, to paranoid schizophrenia. Furthermore, in the course of protracted litigation, a patient may move along the track from the milder to a more severe disorder on this continuum.

301.83 Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

     

  1. frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
    Note:Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.
  2. a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation
  3. identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self
  4. impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).
    Note Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.
  5. recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior
  6. affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g. intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)
  7. chronic feelings of emptiness
  8. inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)
  9. transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms
  10.  

Some alienators may exhibit some of these symptoms prior to the separation. However, as a result of the stresses of the separation, the symptoms may progress to the point where the diagnosis is applicable. Criterion (1) is likely to be exhibited soon after the separation because the marital dissolution is generally associated with real feelings of abandonment. Criterion (2) is often seen when there is a dramatic shift from idealization of the spouse to extreme devaluation. The campaign of denigration is the best example of this manifestation of BPD.

Criterion (4) may manifest itself by excessive spending, especially when such spending causes significant stress and grief to the alienated parent. Following the separation, alienating parents may satisfy Criterion (6) with affect instability, irritability, and intense episodic dysphoria. Although such reactions are common among most people involved in a divorce, especially when litigating the divorce, patients with BPD exhibit these symptoms to an even greater degree. Chronic feelings of emptiness (Criterion [7]) go beyond those that are generally felt by people following a separation. Criterion (8) is extremely common among PAS programmers. The tirades of anger against the alienated parent serve as a model for the child and contribute to the development of the campaign of denigration. The stress-related paranoia, an intensification of the usual suspiciousness exhibited by people involved in litigation, may reach the point that Criterion (9) is satisfied.

The examiner should note which of the symptoms are present and comment: “Five criteria need to be satisfied for the BPD diagnosis. Ms. X satisfies four. Although she does not qualify for the diagnosis at this point, she is at high risk for its development. Furthermore, when one lists diagnoses at the end of the report one might note the DSM-IV diagnosis and add in parenthesis “incipient.”

301.81 Narcissistic Personality Disorder

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

     

  1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements
  2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love
  3. believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)
  4. requires excessive admiration
  5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations
  6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
  7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others
  8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
  9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes
  10.  

My experience has been that most PAS indoctrinators do not satisfy enough criteria (five) to warrant this diagnosis. However, many do exhibit three or four of them, which is worthy of the examiner’s attention and should be noted in the report.

Criterion (5) is especially common in PAS indoctrinators. They act as if court orders have absolutely nothing to do with them, even though their names may be specifically spelled out in the ruling. Unfortunately, they often violate these orders with impunity because courts are typically lax with regard to implementing punitive measures for PAS contemnors. As mentioned in other publications of mine (Gardner, 1998; 2001), the failure of courts to take action against PAS programmers is one of the most common reasons why the symptoms become entrenched in the children.

Criterion (6) is often frequently satisfied by the programmer’s ongoing attempts to extract ever more money from the victim parent, but feels little need to allow access to the children. There is no sense of shame or guilt over this common form of exploitation. The programmer’s lack of empathy and sympathy for the victim parent is quite common and easily satisfies Criterion (7). The PAS, by definition, is a disorder in which a programmer tries to destroy the bond between the children and a good, loving parent. In order to accomplish the goal, the alienator must have a serious deficiency in the ability to empathize with the target parent. Criterion (9) is often seen in that PAS indoctrinators are often haughty and arrogant and this symptom goes along with their sense of entitlement. Again, if warranted, the diagnosis can be listed as “incipient.”

DSM-IV Diagnoses Applicable to PAS Children

312.8 Conduct Disorder

  1. A repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated, as manifested by the presence of three (or more) of the following criteria in the past 12 months, with at least one criterion present in the past 6 months:
  2.  

This diagnosis is often applicable to the PAS child, especially in situations when the conduct disturbances are the most salient manifestation. Under such circumstances, an examiner who is not familiar with the PAS may erroneously conclude that this is the only diagnosis. Such a conclusion necessitates selective inattention to the programming process, which is the hallmark of the PAS. Once again, we see here how a diagnosis, although in DSM-IV, cannot be used as a substitute for the PAS, but may be used as an additional diagnosis. I will not list here all 15 of the DSM-IV criteria, but only those that are most applicable to the PAS:

    Aggression to people and animals

     

  1. often bullies, threatens, or intimidates others
  2. often initiates physical fights
  3. has used a weapon that can cause serious physical harm to others (e.g., a bat, brick, broken bottle, knife, gun)
  4. has been physically cruel to animals
  5. has stolen while confronting a victim (e.g., mugging, purse snatching, extortion, armed robbery) Destruction of property
  6. has deliberately engaged in fire setting with the intention of causing serious damage
  7. has deliberately destroyed others’ property (other than by fire setting)Deceitfulness or theft
  8. often lies to obtain goods or favors or to avoid obligations (i.e., “cons” others)
  9. has stolen items of nontrivial value without confronting a victim (e.g., shoplifting, but without breaking and entering; forgery)Serious violations of rules
  10. has run away from home overnight at least twice while living in parental or parental surrogate home (or once without returning for a lengthy period
  11.  

As can be seen, most of the 15 criteria for the conduct disorder diagnosis can be satisfied by PAS children, especially those in the severe category. The target parent is very much scapegoated and victimized by PAS children. In severe cases they are screamed at, intimidated, and sometimes physically assaulted with objects such as bats, bottles, and knives. The child may perpetrate acts of sabotage in the home of the victim parent. Destruction of property in that person’s home is common and, on rare occasion, even fire setting. Deceitfulness is common, especially fabrications facilitated and supported by the alienator. Stealing things, such as legal documents and important records, and bringing them to the home of the alienator is common. Running away from the home of the target parent and returning to the home of the alienator is common, especially in moderate and severe cases.

309.21 Separation Anxiety Disorder

     

  1. Developmentally inappropriate and excessive anxiety concerning separation from home or from those to whom the individual is attached, as evidenced by three (or more) of the following:
  2.  

I reproduce here those of the eight criteria that are applicable to the PAS:

1) recurrent excessive distress when separation from home or major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated

4) persistent reluctance or refusal to go to school or elsewhere because of fear of separation

8) repeated complaints of physical symptoms (such as headaches, stomachaches, nausea, or vomiting) when separation from major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated

It is important for the reader to appreciate that the original diagnosis for separation anxiety disorder was school phobia. The term separation anxiety disorder is a relatively recent development emerging from the recognition that the child’s fear was less that of the school per se and much more related to the fear of separation from a parent, commonly an overprotective mother (Gardner, 1985b). DSM-IV recognizes this and doesn’t necessarily require the school to be the object of fear, but rather separation from the home, especially from someone with whom the child is pathologically attached.

It is important to note that the PAS child’s hatred of the victim parent has less to do with actual dislike of that parent and has much more to do with fear that if affection is displayed toward the target parent, the alienating parent will be angry at and rejecting of the child. At the prospect of going with the victim parent, the child may exhibit a wide variety of psychosomatic symptoms, all manifestations of the tension associated with the visit. The distress may be especially apparent when the alienating parent is at the site of the transfer. The child recognizes that expression of willingness or happiness to go off with the alienated parent might result in rejection by the alienator. The separation anxiety disorder diagnosis is most often applicable to the mild and moderate cases of PAS. In the severe cases, the anxiety element is less operative than the anger element.

When applying these criteria to the PAS child, one does well to substitute the PAS indoctrinating parent for the parent with whom the child is pathologically attached. At the same time one should substitute the alienated parent for the school or other place outside the child’s home. When one does this, one can see how most of the aforementioned criteria apply. When the child with a separation anxiety disorder is fearful of leaving the home to go to many destinations, the school is the destination the child most fears. It is there that the child feels imprisoned. In contrast, PAS children generally fear only the target parent and are not afraid to leave the programming parent and go elsewhere, such as to the homes of friends and relatives. In short, the PAS child’s fear is focused on the alienated parent. In contrast, the child with a separation anxiety disorder has fears that focus on school but which have spread to many other situations and destinations.

300.15 Dissociative Disorder
Not Otherwise Specified

This category is included for disorders in which the predominant feature is a dissociative symptom (i.e., a disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception of the environment) that does not meet the criteria for any specific Dissociative Disorder. Examples include:

     

  1. States of dissociation that occur in individuals who have been subjected to periods of prolonged and coercive persuasion (e.g., brainwashing, thought reform, or indoctrination while captive).
  2.  

Of the four categories of dissociative disorder (NOS), only Category 3 is applicable to the PAS. This criterion was designed for people who have been subjected to cult indoctrinations or for military prisoners subjected to brainwashing designed to convert their loyalty from their homeland to the enemy that has imprisoned them. It is very applicable to PAS children, especially those in the severe category. Such children have been programmed to convert their loyalty from a loving parent to the brainwashing parent exclusively. Cult victims and those subjected to prisoner indoctrinations often appear to be in a trance-like state in which they profess their indoctrinations in litany-like fashion. PAS children as well (especially those in the severe category) are often like robots or automatons in the way in which they profess the campaign of denigration in litany-like fashion. They seem to be in an altered state of consciousness when doing so.

Adjustment Disorders

The following subtypes of adjustment disorders are sometimes applicable to PAS children:

309.0 With Depressed Mood.

309.24 With Anxiety.

309.28 With Mixed Anxiety and Depressed Mood.

309.3 With Disturbance of Conduct.

309.4 With Mixed Disturbance of Emotions and Conduct

Each of these types of adjustment disorders may be applicable to the PAS child. The child is indeed adjusting to a situation in which one parent is trying to convince the youngster that a previously loving, dedicated, and loyal parent has really been noxious, loathsome, and dangerous. The programmed data does not seem to coincide with what the child has experienced. This produces confusion. The child fears that any expression of affection for the target parent will result in rejection by the alienator. Under such circumstances, the child may respond with anxiety, depression, and disturbances of conduct.

313.9 Disorder of Infancy, Childhood or Adolescence Not Otherwise Specified

This category is a residual category for disorders with onset in infancy, childhood, or adolescence that do not meet criteria for any specific order in the Classification.

This would be a “last resort” diagnosis for the PAS child, the child who, although suffering with a PAS, does not have symptoms that warrant other DSM-IV childhood diagnoses. However, if one still feels the need to use a DSM-IV diagnosis, especially if the report will be compromised without one, then this last-resort diagnosis can justifiably be utilized. However, it is so vague that it says absolutely nothing other than that the person who is suffering with this disorder is a child. I do not recommend its utilization because of its weakness and because it provides practically no new information to the court.

DSM-IV Diagnoses Applicable to Alienated Parents

In most PAS cases, a diagnosis is not warranted for the alienated parent. On occasion that parent does warrant a DSM-IV diagnosis, but its applicability usually antedated the separation and usually has not played a role in the PAS development or promulgation. As mentioned elsewhere (Gardner, 2001), the primary problem I have seen with alienated parents is their passivity. They are afraid to implement traditional disciplinary and punitive measures with their children, lest they alienate them even further. And they are afraid to criticize the alienator because of the risk that such criticism will be reported to the court and compromise even further their position in the child-custody litigation. Generally, their passivity is not so deep-seated that they would warrant DSM-IV diagnoses such as avoidant personality disorder (301.82) or dependent personality disorder (301.6), because such passivity does not extend into other areas of life and did not antedate the marital separation. One could argue that they have an adjustment disorder, but there is no DSM diagnosis called “adjustment disorder, with passivity.” Accordingly, I will often state for alienated parents, “No Axis 1 diagnosis.”

If, indeed, the alienated parent did suffer with a psychiatric disorder that contributed to the alienation, then this should be noted. Certainly, there are situations in which the alienated parent’s psychiatric disorder is so profound that it is the primary cause of the children’s alienation. In such cases, the PAS diagnosis is not warranted. Under such circumstances, this disorder should be described instead as the cause of the children’s alienation.

Final Comments About Alternative DSM-IV Diagnoses for the PAS

As mentioned, the primary reason for using these diagnoses is that the PAS, at this point, is not recognized in some courts of law. They cannot be used as substitute diagnoses for the PAS, but sometimes share in common some of the symptoms. Accordingly, they can be used as additional diagnoses. It is too early to expect widespread recognition because it was not feasible for the PAS to have been placed in the 1994 edition, so few were the publications on the disorder when the preparatory committees were meeting. This will certainly not be the case when the committees meet in the next few years for the preparation of DSM-V, which is scheduled for publication in 2010. None of the aforementioned substitute diagnoses are fully applicable to the PAS; however, as mentioned, each one has certain characteristics which overlap the PAS diagnosis. Because no combination of these alternative diagnoses can properly replace the PAS, they should be used in addition to rather than instead of the PAS. There is hardly a diagnosis in DSM-IV that does not share symptoms in common with other diagnoses. There is significant overlap and often fluidity in DSM diagnoses. None are “pure,” but some are purer than others, and the PAS is one of the purer ones.

At this point, examiners who conclude that PAS is an applicable diagnosis do well to list it in the appropriate place(s) in their reports (especially at the end). At the same time, they do well to list any DSM-IV diagnoses that are applicable for the alienator, the alienated child, and (if warranted) for the alienated parent. Accordingly, even if the court will not recognize the PAS diagnosis, it will have a more difficult time ignoring these alternative DSM diagnoses.

Conclusions

Controversies are likely when a new disorder is first described. This is predictable. The PAS, however, has probably generated more controversy than most new diagnostic contributions. The primary reason for this is that the PAS is very much a product of the adversary legal system that adjudicates child-custody disputes. Under such circumstances, it behooves opposing attorneys to discredit the contribution and to find every argument possible for obstructing its admission into courts of law. And this is what happened with the PAS. The purpose of this article has been to help evaluators involved in such disputes understand better the nature of the controversy and to deal with it in the context of the present legal situation. Like all compromises, the solution is not perfect. None of the additional diagnoses are identical to the PAS, but they do serve a purpose in a court of law in that they are established psychiatric diagnoses that are applicable to PAS alienators, PAS children, and (on occasion) the alienated parent. Ultimately, if PAS is admitted into DSM-V, the main argument for its inadmissibility in courts of law will no longer be applicable and the need for listing these additional diagnoses in courts of law will be reduced.

References

American Psychiatric Association (1994), Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Third Edition, Revised (DSM-IV). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.

Boyd v. Kilgore, 773 So. 2d 546 (Fla. 3d DCA 2000) (Prohibition Denied)

Kilgore v. Boyd, 13th Circuit Court, Hillsborough County, FL., Case No. 94-7573, 733 So. 2d 546 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000) Jan 30, 2001

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

_______ (1985b), Separation Anxiety Disorder: Psychodynamics and Psychotherapy. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

_______ (1986), Child Custody Litigation: A Guide for Parents and Mental Health Professionals. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

_______ (1987), The Parental Alienation Syndrome and the Differentiation Between Fabricated and Genuine Child Sex Abuse. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

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

_______ (1989), Family Evaluation in Child Custody Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

_______ (1992), The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Guide for Mental Health and Legal Professionals. Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

_______ (1998), The Parental Alienation Syndrome, Second Edition. Cresskill, New Jersey: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

________ (2001), Therapeutic Interventions for Children with Parental Alienation Syndrome. Cresskill, New Jersey: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.

_______ (2002), Parental alienation syndrome vs. parental alienation: Which diagnosis should be used in child-custody litigation? The American Journal of Family Therapy, 30(2):101-123.

rgardner.com, Articles in Peer-reviewed journals and Published Books on the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS). www.rgardner.com/refs

_______, Testimony Concerning the Parental Alienation Syndrome Has Been Admitted in Courts of Law in Many States and Countries. www.rgardner.com/refs

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

_______ (2001), Current controversies regarding parental alienation syndrome. The American Journal of Forensic Psychology, 19(3):29-59.

©2002 Richard A. Gardner, M.D.

Parental Alienation (Canada): Mothers commit vast majority of parental murders of children

In adoption abuse, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, child trafficking, Children and Domestic Violence, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, federal crimes, kidnapped children, Marriage, Michael Murphy, Munchausen Syndrome By Proxy, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Single Moms, Sociopath on October 21, 2009 at 10:34 pm

I would like to thank Mike Murphy again for pointing these statistics out. Without a doubt legislators in the US are getting this wrong, and it is time that more moms need to be on supervised visitation.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mothers commit vast majority of parental murders of children

This data is U.S. sourced but there are similarities in English speaking western democracies. Click on the link below for the source data.

Federal Data: Mothers commit vast majority of parental murders of children

These data are not blips. The trend is clear over many years that the mother (female) is responsible for the greatest amount of child abuse and child murder in family relationships. How then can it be there is no tax supported DV or emergency shelters for men in Canada; how can it be there are few, if any, (I haven’t found any yet) tax supported counseling services for men in marital breakdown in Canada; how can it be woman’s groups can tap into such large amounts of tax support to send out propaganda about how vulnerable they are; how can these DV groups spout the invective they do against men when their own clients are the worst perpetrators of abuse to children.

How many women are actually in these shelters because of DV; how many are in them for addictions; how many are planning a false ex parte order to nail hubby while he sleeps; how many are in there because they are hiding from legal pursuits of them; how many are “passing through” while traveling. I think an accounting and operational audit of these facilities should be part and parcel of their ability to obtain tax funds. There is no doubt some women are there because they have no recourse and are subject to abuse but it casts a pall over them if many are there for other reasons. They are emergency shelters – so called – for Domestic Violence – at least in terms of the marketing of them to get tax funding.

Is there something wrong with our values? Is there something wrong with government largess and what is wrong with us men for laying down and taking this misinformation from groups like the Tennessee DV coalition as described here amongst many others.

Figure 3-3 Victimization Rates by Age and Sex, 2007 Child Maltreatment 2007

Victimization Rates by Age and Sex, 2007

This bar graph breaks the victim population into age groups as follows: Less than 1, 1, 2, 3, 4–7, 8–11, 12–15, and 16–17 and either boy or girl sex. According to this graph, the youngest age group is the most victimized, with a rate of 22.2 boys and 21.5 girls per 1,000 children of the same age and sex group. The oldest children were victimized the least frequently.

Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2007This pie chart presents victims by relationship to their perpetrators. More than 80 percent (80.1%) of victims were maltreated by at least one parent. Nearly 40 percent (38.7%) of victims were maltreated by their mother acting on her own.Note the rate by mom and other is 44.4% while dad and other is 18.8%. The rate by the mother is 2.36 times higher than dad. That is 236% greater. Now how to explain that away to those who believe only men are abusive.MJM



Table 4-5 Perpetrator Relationships to Child Fatalities, 2007 Child Maltreatment 2007

Relationship to Child Child Fatalities
Number Percent
PARENT Blank Cell
Mother 347 27.1
Mother and Other 96 7.5
Father 208 16.3
Father and Other 11 0.9
Mother and Father 232 18.1
NONPARENT Blank Cell
Daycare Staff 24 1.9
Foster Parent (Female Relative) 0 0.0
Foster Parent (Male Relative) 0 0.0
Foster Parent (Nonrelative) 3 0.2
Foster Parent (Unknown Relationship) 3 0.2
Friend or Neighbor 2 0.2
Legal Guardian (Female) 0 0.0
Legal Guardian (Male) 0 0.0
More than One Nonparental Perpetrator 52 4.1
Other Professional 2 0.2
Partner of Parent (Female) 4 0.3
Partner of Parent (Male) 35 2.7
Relative (Female) 29 2.3
Relative (Male) 20 1.6
Staff Group Home 2 0.2
Unknown or Missing 210 16.4
Total 1,280 Blank Cell
Percent Blank Cell 100.0


Perpetrator Relationships to Child Fatalities, 2007


This table first lists perpetrator relationships including mother, mother and father, father, mother and other, father and other, female daycare staff, more than one nonparental perpetrator, unknown, etc. In the next column is listed the number of child fatalities from the specified perpetrator. The third column lists the percentage. More than 27 percent (27.1%) of child fatalities were perpetrated by a mother acting alone.

Moms and another are more than twice as likely to kill a child as a dad and another.MJM


Figure 4-2 Fatality Rates by Age and Sex, 2007
Child Maltreatment 2007

Fatality Rates by Age and Sex, 2007

Fatality Rates by Age and Sex, 2007

This bar graph shows two groupings of victims, one for boys and one for girls. Each grouping displays the fatality rates for each sex by age group. The graph indicates that the youngest children have the highest fatality rates for both sexes.

Note boys have the higher death rates.MJM

Some data on child abuse from Child Maltreatment 2006, a report by the Federal Administration for Children & Families…

Figure 4-2 Perpetrator Relationships of Child Fatalities, 2006

Child Maltreatment 2006


Perpetrator Relationships of Child Fatalities, 2006

Perpetrator Relationships of Child Fatalities, 2006

This pie chart indicates that 27.4 percent of child fatalities were perpetrated by the mother acting alone. Such non-parental perpetrators as daycare providers, foster parents, or residential facility staff were responsible for 14.6 percent of fatalities.

Leaving aside killings by non-parents or by mothers and fathers acting together, mothers committed a significantly greater number of the parental murders of children.

Figure 3-5 Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2006

Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2006


Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2006

This pie chart shows that 39.9 percent of child victims were maltreated by their mothers acting alone; another 17.6 percent were maltreated by their fathers acting alone; 17.8 percent were abused by both their mother and father. Victims abused by a nonparental perpetrator accounted for 10.0 percent.

Table 4-5 Perpetrator Relationships to Child Fatalities, 2006
Child Maltreatment 2006

Relationship to Child Child Fatalities
Number Percent
Mother 288 27.4
Mother and Other 121 11.5
Father 138 13.1
Father and Other 16 1.5
Mother and Father 235 22.4
Female Relative 31 3.0
Male Relative 17 1.6
Female Foster Parent (Relative) 0 0.0
Male Foster Parent (Relative) 0 0.0
Female Partner of Parent 0 0.0
Male Partner of Parent 30 2.9
Female Legal Guardian 1 0.1
Male Legal Guardian 0 0.0
Foster Parent (Nonrelative) 5 0.5
Foster Parent Unknown Relationship 4 0.4
Staff Group Home 4 0.4
Daycare Staff 32 3.0
Other Professional 0 0.0
Friend or Neighbor 2 0.2
More than One Nonparental Perpetrator 26 2.5
Unknown or Missing 100 9.5
Total 1,050 Blank Cell
Blank Cell Blank Cell 100.0
Based on data from 36 States.


Perpetrator Relationships to Child Fatalities, 2006

This table first lists perpetrator relationships including mother, mother and father, father, mother and other, father and other, female daycare staff, more than one nonparental perpetrator, unknown, etc. In the next column is listed the number of child fatalities from the specified perpetrator. The third column lists the percentage. More than 27 percent (27.4%) of child fatalities were perpetrated by a mother acting alone.

The following are data from 2005.

Figure 4-2 Perpetrator Relationships of Child Fatalities, 2005
Child Maltreatment 2005

Figure 4-2


Note the mother (female) again is responsible for the vast majority of deaths of children.

Table 4-5 Perpetrator Relationships of Fatalities, 2005
Child Maltreatment 2005

Blank Cell Child Fatalities
Perpetrator Number Percent
Mother 287 28.5
Mother and Other 104 10.3
Father 159 15.8
Father and Other 16 1.6
Mother and Father 205 20.4
Famale Relative 24 2.4
Male Relative 7 0.7
Female Foster Parent (Relative) 0 0.0
Male Foster Parent (Relative) 0 0.0
Female Partner of Parent 6 0.6
Male Partner of Parent 33 3.3
Female Legal Guardian 1 0.1
Male Legal Guardian 0 0.0
Female Foster Parent (Nonrelative) 5 0.5
Male Foster Parent (Nonrelative) 1 0.1
Female Foster Parent
Unknown Relationship
1 0.1
Male Foster Parent
Unknown Relationship
0 0.0
Female Staff Group Home 0 0.0
Male Staff Group Home 0 0.0
Female Daycare Staff 20 2.0
Male Daycare Staff 2 0.2
Female Other Professional 0 0.0
Male Other Professional 1 0.1
Female Friend or Neighbor 2 0.2
Male Friend or Neighbor 4 0.4
More than One Nonparental
Perpetrator
23 2.3
Unknown or Missing 105 10.4
Total 1,006 blank cell
Percent blank cell 100.0


Based on data from 34 States.

Perpetrator Relationships of Child Fatalities, 2005

This table first lists perpetrator relationships including mother only, mother and father, father only, mother and other, father and other, female daycare staff, more than one nonparental perpetrator, unknown, etc. In the next column is listed the number of child fatalities from the specified perpetrator. The third column lists the percentage. 28.5 percent of child fatalities were perpetrated by a mother acting alone.







“According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ new report Child Maltreatment 2004, when one parent is acting without the involvement of the other parent, mothers are almost three times as likely to kill their children as fathers are, and are more than twice as likely to abuse them.”
Source: Child Maltreatment 2004, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. According to Figure 4-2 “Perpetrator Relationships of Fatalities, 2004 Child Maltreatment 2004” here, child fatalities perpetrated by mothers or by “mother and other [not father]” comprise 40.6% of all child fatalities. Figure 4-2 also shows that fatalities perpetrated by fathers or by “father and other [not mother]” comprise 15.6% of all child fatalities. According to Figure 3-6 “Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2004 Child Maltreatment 2004,” here child abuse perpetrated by mothers or by “mother and other [not father]” comprise 45.6% of all child abuse. Figure 3-6 also shows that abuse perpetrated by fathers or by “father and other [not mother]” comprise 19.5% of all child abuse.

//

Parental Alienation (Canada): Mothers commit vast majority of parental murders of children.

A World Without Courtship is a World of Divorce

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Moms, Single Parenting, Sociopath on September 18, 2009 at 11:13 pm

A World Without Courtship is a World of Divorce

by Colleen Hammond on September 17, 2009

A Washington Post column with real world statistics showing that there’s a lot of damage to people and society in 20-somethings’ sexual wasteland.

Full column here.

There is a segment of society for whom traditional family values are increasingly irrelevant, and for whom spring-break sexual liberationism is increasingly costly: men and women in their 20s.

This opens a hormone-filled gap — a decade and more of likely sexual activity before marriage. And for those in that gap, there is little helpful guidance from the broader culture. Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia, argues that the “courtship narrative” in the past was clear: dating, engagement, marriage, children. This narrative has been disrupted without being replaced, leaving many 20-somethings in a “relational wasteland.”

The casual sex promoted in advertising and entertainment often leads, in the real world of fragile hearts and STDs, to emotional and physical wreckage. But it doesn’t seem realistic to expect most men and women to delay sex until marriage at 26 or 28. Such virtue is both admirable and possible — but it can hardly be a general social expectation. So religious institutions, for example, often avoid this thorny topic, content to live with silence, hypocrisy and active singles groups.

In the absence of a courtship narrative, young people have evolved a casual, ad hoc version of their own: cohabitation. From 1960 to 2007, the number of Americans cohabiting increased fourteenfold. For some, it is a test-drive for marriage. For others, it is an easier, low-commitment alternative to marriage. About 40 percent of children will now spend some of their childhood in a cohabiting union.

How is this working out? Not very well. Relationships defined by lower levels of commitment are, not unexpectedly, more likely to break up. Three-quarters of children born to cohabiting parents will see their parents split up by the time they turn 16, compared with about one-third of children born to married parents. So apart from the counsel of cold showers or “let the good times roll,” is there any good advice for those traversing the relational wilderness? Religion and morality contribute ideals of character. But social science also indicates some rough, practical wisdom.

First, while it may not be realistic to maintain the connection between marriage and sex, it remains essential to maintain the connection between marriage and childbearing. Marriage is the most effective institution to bind two parents for a long period in the common enterprise of raising a child — particularly encouraging fathers to invest time and attention in the lives of their children. And the fatherless are some of the most disadvantaged, betrayed people in our society, prone to delinquency, poverty and academic failure. Cohabitation is no place for children.

Second, the age of first marriage is important to marital survival and happiness. Teen marriage is generally a bad idea, with much higher rates of divorce. Romeo and Juliet were, in fact, young fools. Later marriage has been one of the reasons for declining national divorce rates. But this does not mean the later the better. Divorce rates trend downward until leveling off in the early 20s. But people who marry after 27 tend to have less happy marriages — perhaps because partners are set in their ways or have unrealistically high standards. The marital sweet spot seems to be in the early to mid-20s.

Third, having a series of low-commitment relationships does not bode well for later marital commitment. Some of this expresses preexisting traits — people who already have a “nontraditional” view of commitment are less likely to be committed in marriage. But there is also evidence, according to Wilcox, that multiple failed relationships can “poison one’s view of the opposite sex.” Serial cohabitation trains people for divorce. In contrast, cohabitation by engaged couples seems to have no adverse effect on eventual marriage.

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Reforming Family Law: What You Can Do Right Now – Reform Family Law Now

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, federal crimes, Foster Care, Foster CAre Abuse, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, Marriage, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on September 14, 2009 at 1:00 am

Reforming Family Law: What You Can Do Right Now

by Andrew J Thompson

I began my weekly broadcast this past Tuesday through Talkshoe.com on the Get Your Justice Live network with Lary Holland.  For the rest of this week my office has been overwhelmed with the question: so what do we do now?

I’ve been receiving calls and emails from every corner of the the country from people in tragic situations of their own, shaped by the misuse of the family law system and lack of access to true justice.  This isn’t a problem easily attacked on a case-by-case basis.  If it was, we would have had reform a long time ago.  It’s a problem that demands people bring their cases and make themselves heard in a set of unified voices.

In the past, the system has worked against families systematically and – at least in terms of acting in a destructive manner – efficiently.  Meanwhile, we have been fighting it one-by-one and ineffectively.  It’s time for us to become systematic and efficient in attacking a whole system that has been trampling families’ rights for too long.

I’m creating a new vehicle to enable the system we need to accomplish these ends.  Essentially we need to gather key bits of information from every person within our constituency, to begin sorting out the potential classes of litigants and joinder of claims.

The information we need is straightforward and pretty simple:

  • Basic personal information: name, home address, email and phone;
  • A very succinct description of the facts giving rise to your own claim;
  • The specific Constitutional rights you would assert to be violated;
  • A very brief statement of the remedy you believe would resolve your own issues.

As we learn where the commonality become individual situations can be clearly defined, we can then proceed to put together a class petition, and other claims, primarily in family court.

This is the beginning.  We also need considerable help carrying out the tasks we must in order to succeed.  So we need people to self-identify skills or abilities they have, i.e. legal research, IT skill, administrative support, database management and administration, etc.  With a number of us working together, we will be able to attack the problem more quickly, in essence, to create a rapid response team and legal coalition of activists who will help move our mission forward at “all deliberate speed” – that’s a quote from the United States Supreme Court, by the way.

We also must keep in mind that reform won’t be achieved without costs.  We need help with funding!  If every person will contribute just what they can, we will reach our destiny sooner.  If most of us will trade in a small fraction of what we would have to pay for other legal representation and chip in a few hundred dollars toward the costs, we will move ahead very far and very fast.  If everyone of us contributes at least a few dollars, we will show the tribunals we face that we are committed, serious and irrepressible as a unit.  If just a few people are able to step forward and fund the largest share of the costs, we will show those who would deprive us of our rights that we are entirely capable of taking them on step-by-step throughout intense litigation.

We can bring about the change we need through the civil rights litigation that may be the only avenue of hope for real change in the time we need.  All of our children are growing up fast.  As each day passes, we lose one day in their tender young lives to play the roles we should in helping them be the people we want them to be, and keeping the relationships with their parents in tact in the way they should be able.

Forms will be added to the site very soon.  In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach our office via email at: info@reformfamilynow.org.  Tomorrow’s a new day with much hope and expectation!  We hope to hear from you soon.

Reforming Family Law: What You Can Do Right Now – Reform Family Law Now.

Parental Alienation & Grief « It’s Almost Tuesday

In Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parentectomy, Parents rights on September 4, 2009 at 6:15 am

Parental Alienation & Grief

The parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the target parent.

The primary person responsible for the induction of a parental alienation syndrome (PAS) in a child is the litigating parent who hopes to gain leverage in a court of law by programming in the child a campaign of denigration directed against a target parent.

In most cases alienated parents are relatively helpless to protect themselves from the indoctrinations and the destruction of what was once a good, loving bond. They turn to the courts for help and, in most cases in my experience, have suffered even greater frustration and despair because of the court’s failure to meaningfully provide them with assistance.

It is the author’s hope that increasing recognition by the judiciary of its failures to deal effectively with PAS families will play a role in the rectification of this serious problem.

(Excerpted from: Gardner, R.A. (1998). The Parental Alienation Syndrome, Second Edition, Cresskill, NJ: Creative Therapeutics, Inc.)

by Dr. Barbara Steinberg

Q: A parent who has been alienated from his or her child’s life experiences extreme loss. Often we are asked by a targeted parent, “How do I deal with his on-going pain?”

A: First, know that you are not alone. There are others, both mothers and fathers, who have similar experiences, and who are in deep agony over the loss of contact and meaningful relationship with their children.

Second, know that you are not crazy. In our culture we are not encouraged to experience our grief. We are taught to be strong, to rise above it, to tough it out, to get over it and get on with life. Sometimes that is wise counsel if we linger in our pain, and our outrage becomes the complete focus of our life affecting our work, our social life and our spirit. However, the loss of a child whether by death or by exclusion from that child’s life is beyond the realm of most parents’ ability to cope.

In the beginning of an alienation process, we believe, as parents, this is not really happening. We deny that the other parent of our child is capable of these vengeful acts, and we choose not to believe our child, whom we love deeply, would ever treat us in such a hurtful ways.

Denial is the strongest emotional defense mechanism we have at our disposal, and it is the one on which we rely the most. For most parents, because they truly want contact and relationship with their child, their denial does not hold up under time or with the reality of the disconnection they experience.

Third, many parents feel confusion, which suggests they are not able to identify and process the bunch of emotions; they are experiencing in their gut. Usually, these can be separated into feelings of deep sadness, intense anger, extreme outrage, and desperate blame.

To keep from being overwhelmed by this internal “bucket of worms,” many parents detach from the situation that they believe is an act of self-preservation. Some bargain with them using the following logic, “My child will get what’s happened when he/she turns eighteen so I’ll just wait.” Both strategies are akin to whistling in the dark.

Fourth, targeted parents want to know how to deal with these strong emotions in healthy ways because if allowed to remain unreleased, they often gain a life of their own and emerge at inappropriate and inopportune times toward others who do not understand or deserve the depth and intensity of the feeling.

Sometimes, these emotions are held internally. In an attempt to self-medicate the resulting pain, the targeted parent turns to addictive behaviors or substances. Eventually, if strong emotions are held internally for a long period of time, they can convert into physical problems, which plague the individual for the remainder of his/her life.

So the dilemma remains, what do I do with my pain? Keeping a journal or diary is helpful, but strong emotions require active self-interventions. Many parents report feeling relief from their deep sadness by allowing themselves to cry and scream.

If you believe this might assist you in your process, to avoid embarrassment, it is wise to isolate yourself perhaps in a quiet, natural place so you can grieve in an unrestrained and unobserved way. It is also helpful to take a sequence of your child’s pictures so you can activate your feelings of loss.

Intense anger is a physical activator so you will need to participate in a focused activity such as bowling, driving golf balls at a range or hitting balls in a batting cage. A less expensive approach is throwing ice cubes at a sturdy wall, an activity, that parents report, gives a sense of relief and release from ever tightening bands of anger.

Outrage describes a parent who feels misunderstood so there needs to be some attention paid to “telling your story.” The problem is finding a receptive listener who has the patience and energy to hear the saga of hurt, frustration and humiliation more than once. Targeted parents can tell their story into a small tape recorder; they can write their story by hand into a journal, a loose-leaf notebook or a diary. They can use a word processor and store it on computer disc, or if they are creatively inclined, they can write poems to their children. Some parents have already published their story in books and poetry.

Of importance here is the intention to alleviate the outrage of misunderstanding that, as a parent, you are unimportant, even nonessential in your child’s life. Also, it is important that you be heard, and that you remind yourself that you are still a parent by keeping your child’s pictures around you. Another approach is to involve yourself in the parenting role with other children as a Godparent, as an involved uncle or aunt, as a Big Brother or Big Sister. Validating yourself as a parent can go a long way to heal feelings of outrage.

Finally, desperate blame is probably the most difficult bereavement issue to process. Some blame is justifiable: the other parent, the other parent’s family, the legal and social services system, your child, yourself. However, the only one under your jurisdiction of control is yourself so this is the part that you work with in three separate ways. First, it is critical, regardless of the attitude and reception from the other parent, from the other parent’s family and from your child that you stay in positive contact with them. Civility and cordiality in face-to-face contact is essential regardless of what is said in your presence or behind your back. In addition, sending your child cards, letters and little packages on unimportant days is appropriate. Also, communicating with your child by telephone, by e-mail and by facsimile can be effective. If you have completely lost contact with your child, then set your priority to find him/her and restore contact at least by distance. If this is impossible, then collect items and memorabilia in a special box or trunk reserved for your child and the possibility of future contact.

Second, become active as a citizen for positive change, and learn about the strengths and weaknesses of the system you blame for preventing you from having parenting opportunities with your child. This action may not change the disposition of your situation, but you may make the system a better place for other targeted parents and their children.

Third, for your sake and for the sake of your relationship with your child, it is imperative that you forgive the other parent. Notice there was no mention of forgetting what has happened, or how you have been treated, but again, for restoring your emotional balance and your ability to cope with life challenges in healthy ways, you will need to forgive the alienator.

For some, this is a spiritual journey, and for others the path is a secular one. What is important is that you go about this process in a unique way that you believe will work for you so the specter of losing your child is diminished, and your health and well being are in restoration.

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Severe Sociopaths Oppose Parental Alienation Syndrome – Sick People Not In Touch With Reality

In child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, kidnapped children, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parentectomy, Sociopath on July 22, 2009 at 12:30 am

Sometimes I wonder why such dysfunctional adults can be allowed to make decisions regarding children, but the secret to success for those who are parental abusers, (also known as “alienating parents”) is their appearance of being absolutely normal on the surface.

However, bubbling below the surface and now quite so well hidden is their true psychological profile, which psychological testing reveals. Often times they call themselves “protective parents” or “survivors” or “battered” and viciously blame the courts for turning children over to “abusers.” But when asked why the “abusive” parent is not in jail, the sociopath quickly describes “payoffs“, “bribes” and “court corruption” with “collusion” thrown in to save the “abuser” and to “ignore” the evidence. Also they are big into playing the “victim” role and believe that all men commit “domestic violence” just by looking at them.

Parental alienators will deliberately make up falsehoods, deceive, delay, and play the “victim” in custody proceedings and do so with a sly and manipulative cunning that is best described as sociopath behavior. Like Hitler and the Nazis, these sick individuals enjoy controlling others and “winning,” and creating an environment of hostility and bitterness. Although outwardly they may be seen as successful, charming and winning in the careers, “these ordinary people who have no conscience–no capacity to feel shame, guilt, or remorse–can do absolutely anything to other people without ever feeling guilty . . . These sociopaths learn early on to show sham emotion, but underneath they are cold as a snake and live to dominate and win.” from “The Sociopath Next Door” by Dr. Martha Stout. Dr. Stout estimates that 4% of our population can be described as sociopaths. And, she says that may be a conservative estimate.

Which means between 16 to 40 million Americans are seriously ill and can be classified Sociopaths..

I am reprinting Dr. Richard A. Garnder article here, which partially describes some of the sociopathic behavior of Parental Alienators. The complete original article can be found here: http://www.fact.on.ca/Info/pas/gard02e.htm

by Richard A. Gardner. M.D.
Department of Child Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons
Columbia University, New York, New York, USA

Child custody evaluators commonly find themselves confronted with resistance when they attempt to use the term parental alienation syndrome (PAS) in courts of law. Although convinced that the patient being evaluated suffers with the disorder, they often find that the attorneys who represent alienated parents, although agreeing with the diagnosis, will discourage use of the term in the evaluators’ reports and testimony. Most often, they will request that the evaluator merely use the term parental alienation (PA). On occasion they will ask whether other DSM-IV diagnoses may be applicable. The purpose of this article is to elucidate the reasons for the reluctance to use the PAS diagnosis and the applicability of PA as well as current DSM-IV substitute diagnoses.

Diagnoses Applicable to Alienating Parents

297.71 Delusional Disorder

1. Nonbizarre delusions (i.e., involving situations that occur in real life, such as being followed, poisoned, infected, loved at a distance, or deceived by spouse or lover, or having a disease) of at least 1 month’s duration.

Of the various subtypes of delusional disorder, the one that is most applicable to the PAS:

Persecutory Type: delusions that the person (or someone to whom the person is close) is being malevolently treated in some way

This diagnosis is generally applicable to the PAS indoctrinator who may initially recognize that the complaints about the behavior of the alienated parent are conscious and deliberate fabrications. However, over time, the fabrications may become delusions, actually believed by the programming parent. And the same process may ultimately be applicable to the child. Specifically, at first the child may recognize that the professions of hatred are feigned and serve to ingratiate the child to the programmer. However, over time the child may come to actually believe what were originally conscious and deliberate fabrications. When that point is reached the delusional disorder diagnosis is applicable to the child. Generally, this diagnosis is applicable to relentless programmers who are obsessed with their hatred of the victim parent, by which time the child will have probably entered the severe level of PAS. It is to be noted that when the PAS is present, most often one observes a circumscribed delusional system, confined almost exclusively to the alienated parent. This diagnosis may also be applicable to the PAS child, especially the child who is in the severe category.

301.0 Paranoid Personality Disorder

1. A pervasive distrust and suspiciousness of others such that their motives are interpreted as malevolent, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by four (or more) of the following:

1. suspects, without sufficient basis, that others are exploiting, harming, or deceiving him or her

2. is preoccupied with unjustified doubts about the loyalty or trustworthiness of friends or associates

3. is reluctant to confide in others because of unwarranted fear that the information will be used maliciously against him or her

4. reads hidden demeaning or threatening meanings into benign remarks or events

5. persistently bears grudges, i.e., is unforgiving of insults, injuries, or slights

6. perceives attacks on his or her character or reputation that are not apparent to others and is quick to react angrily or to counterattack

7. has recurrent suspicions, without justification, regarding fidelity of spouse or sexual partner

PAS programmers who warrant this diagnosis would often satisfy these criteria before the marital separation. A detailed history from the victim parent as well as collaterals may be important because the programming parent is not likely to directly reveal such symptoms. They may, however, reveal them in the course of the evaluation, because they are such deep-seated traits, and are so deeply embedded in their personality structure, that they cannot be hidden. Most people involved in protracted child-custody litigation become “a little paranoid,” and this is often revealed by elevations on the paranoid scale of the MMPI. After all, there are indeed people who are speaking behind the patient’s back, are plotting against them, and are developing schemes and strategies with opposing lawyers. This reality results in an elevation of the paranoid scale in people who would not have manifested such elevations prior to the onset of the litigation. We see here how adversarial proceedings intensify psychopathology in general (Gardner, 1986), and in this case, paranoid psychopathology especially. The PAS child is less likely to warrant this diagnosis. When the severe level is reached PAS children may warrant the aforementioned Shared Psychotic Disorder diagnosis. On occasion, the diagnosis Schizophrenia, Paranoid Type (295.30) is warranted for the programming parent, but such patients generally exhibited other manifestations of schizophrenia, especially prior to the separation. It goes beyond the purposes of this paper to detail the marital symptoms of schizophrenia which should be investigated if the examiner has reason to believe that this diagnosis may be applicable.

It is important for the examiner to appreciate that there is a continuum from delusional disorder, to paranoid personality disorder, to paranoid schizophrenia. Furthermore, in the course of protracted litigation, a patient may move along the track from the milder to a more severe disorder on this continuum.

301.83 Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)

A pervasive pattern of instability of interpersonal relationships, self-image, and affects, and marked impulsivity beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. frantic efforts to avoid real or imagined abandonment.
Note:Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

2. a pattern of unstable and intense interpersonal relationships characterized by alternating between extremes of idealization and devaluation

3. identity disturbance: markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self

4. impulsivity in at least two areas that are potentially self-damaging (e.g., spending, sex, substance abuse, reckless driving, binge eating).
Note Do not include suicidal or self-mutilating behavior covered in Criterion 5.

5. recurrent suicidal behavior, gestures, or threats, or self-mutilating behavior

6. affective instability due to a marked reactivity of mood (e.g. intense episodic dysphoria, irritability, or anxiety usually lasting a few hours and only rarely more than a few days)

7. chronic feelings of emptiness

8. inappropriate, intense anger or difficulty controlling anger (e.g., frequent displays of temper, constant anger, recurrent physical fights)

9. transient, stress-related paranoid ideation or severe dissociative symptoms

Some alienators may exhibit some of these symptoms prior to the separation. However, as a result of the stresses of the separation, the symptoms may progress to the point where the diagnosis is applicable. Criterion (1) is likely to be exhibited soon after the separation because the marital dissolution is generally associated with real feelings of abandonment. Criterion (2) is often seen when there is a dramatic shift from idealization of the spouse to extreme devaluation. The campaign of denigration is the best example of this manifestation of BPD.

Criterion (4) may manifest itself by excessive spending, especially when such spending causes significant stress and grief to the alienated parent. Following the separation, alienating parents may satisfy Criterion (6) with affect instability, irritability, and intense episodic dysphoria. Although such reactions are common among most people involved in a divorce, especially when litigating the divorce, patients with BPD exhibit these symptoms to an even greater degree. Chronic feelings of emptiness (Criterion [7]) go beyond those that are generally felt by people following a separation. Criterion (8) is extremely common among PAS programmers. The tirades of anger against the alienated parent serve as a model for the child and contribute to the development of the campaign of denigration. The stress-related paranoia, an intensification of the usual suspiciousness exhibited by people involved in litigation, may reach the point that Criterion (9) is satisfied.

The examiner should note which of the symptoms are present and comment: “Five criteria need to be satisfied for the BPD diagnosis. Ms. X satisfies four. Although she does not qualify for the diagnosis at this point, she is at high risk for its development. Furthermore, when one lists diagnoses at the end of the report one might note the DSM-IV diagnosis and add in parenthesis “incipient.”

301.81 Narcissistic Personality Disorder

A pervasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration, and lack of empathy, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts, as indicated by five (or more) of the following:

1. has a grandiose sense of self-importance (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents, expects to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements

2. is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, brilliance, beauty, or ideal love

3. believes that he or she is “special” and unique and can only be understood by, or should associate with, other special or high-status people (or institutions)

4. requires excessive admiration

5. has a sense of entitlement, i.e., unreasonable expectations of especially favorable treatment or automatic compliance with his or her expectations

6. is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends

7. lacks empathy: is unwilling to recognize or identify with the feelings and needs of others

8. is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her

9. shows arrogant, haughty behaviors or attitudes

My experience has been that most PAS indoctrinators do not satisfy enough criteria (five) to warrant this diagnosis. However, many do exhibit three or four of them, which is worthy of the examiner’s attention and should be noted in the report.

Criterion (5) is especially common in PAS indoctrinators. They act as if court orders have absolutely nothing to do with them, even though their names may be specifically spelled out in the ruling. Unfortunately, they often violate these orders with impunity because courts are typically lax with regard to implementing punitive measures for PAS contemnors. As mentioned in other publications of mine (Gardner, 1998; 2001), the failure of courts to take action against PAS programmers is one of the most common reasons why the symptoms become entrenched in the children.

Criterion (6) is often frequently satisfied by the programmer’s ongoing attempts to extract ever more money from the victim parent, but feels little need to allow access to the children. There is no sense of shame or guilt over this common form of exploitation. The programmer’s lack of empathy and sympathy for the victim parent is quite common and easily satisfies Criterion (7). The PAS, by definition, is a disorder in which a programmer tries to destroy the bond between the children and a good, loving parent. In order to accomplish the goal, the alienator must have a serious deficiency in the ability to empathize with the target parent. Criterion (9) is often seen in that PAS indoctrinators are often haughty and arrogant and this symptom goes along with their sense of entitlement. Again, if warranted, the diagnosis can be listed as “incipient.”

DSM-IV Diagnoses Applicable to PAS Children

312.8 Conduct Disorder

1. A repetitive and persistent pattern of behavior in which the basic rights of others or major age-appropriate societal norms or rules are violated, as manifested by the presence of three (or more) of the following criteria in the past 12 months, with at least one criterion present in the past 6 months:

This diagnosis is often applicable to the PAS child, especially in situations when the conduct disturbances are the most salient manifestation. Under such circumstances, an examiner who is not familiar with the PAS may erroneously conclude that this is the only diagnosis. Such a conclusion necessitates selective inattention to the programming process, which is the hallmark of the PAS. Once again, we see here how a diagnosis, although in DSM-IV, cannot be used as a substitute for the PAS, but may be used as an additional diagnosis. I will not list here all 15 of the DSM-IV criteria, but only those that are most applicable to the PAS:

Aggression to people and animals

1. often bullies, threatens, or intimidates others

2. often initiates physical fights

3. has used a weapon that can cause serious physical harm to others (e.g., a bat, brick, broken bottle, knife, gun)

4. has been physically cruel to animals

5. has stolen while confronting a victim (e.g., mugging, purse snatching, extortion, armed robbery)

Destruction of property

6. has deliberately engaged in fire setting with the intention of causing serious damage

7. has deliberately destroyed others’ property (other than by fire setting)

Deceitfulness or theft

8. often lies to obtain goods or favors or to avoid obligations (i.e., “cons” others)

9. has stolen items of nontrivial value without confronting a victim (e.g., shoplifting, but without breaking and entering; forgery)

Serious violations of rules

10. has run away from home overnight at least twice while living in parental or parental surrogate home (or once without returning for a lengthy period

As can be seen, most of the 15 criteria for the conduct disorder diagnosis can be satisfied by PAS children, especially those in the severe category. The target parent is very much scapegoated and victimized by PAS children. In severe cases they are screamed at, intimidated, and sometimes physically assaulted with objects such as bats, bottles, and knives. The child may perpetrate acts of sabotage in the home of the victim parent. Destruction of property in that person’s home is common and, on rare occasion, even fire setting. Deceitfulness is common, especially fabrications facilitated and supported by the alienator. Stealing things, such as legal documents and important records, and bringing them to the home of the alienator is common. Running away from the home of the target parent and returning to the home of the alienator is common, especially in moderate and severe cases.

309.21 Separation Anxiety Disorder

1. Developmentally inappropriate and excessive anxiety concerning separation from home or from those to whom the individual is attached, as evidenced by three (or more) of the following:

I reproduce here those of the eight criteria that are applicable to the PAS:

1) recurrent excessive distress when separation from home or major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated

4) persistent reluctance or refusal to go to school or elsewhere because of fear of separation

3) repeated complaints of physical symptoms (such as headaches, stomachaches, nausea, or vomiting) when separation from major attachment figures occurs or is anticipated

It is important for the reader to appreciate that the original diagnosis for separation anxiety disorder was school phobia. The term separation anxiety disorder is a relatively recent development emerging from the recognition that the child’s fear was less that of the school per se and much more related to the fear of separation from a parent, commonly an overprotective mother (Gardner, 1985b). DSM-IV recognizes this and doesn’t necessarily require the school to be the object of fear, but rather separation from the home, especially from someone with whom the child is pathologically attached.

It is important to note that the PAS child’s hatred of the victim parent has less to do with actual dislike of that parent and has much more to do with fear that if affection is displayed toward the target parent, the alienating parent will be angry at and rejecting of the child. At the prospect of going with the victim parent, the child may exhibit a wide variety of psychosomatic symptoms, all manifestations of the tension associated with the visit. The distress may be especially apparent when the alienating parent is at the site of the transfer. The child recognizes that expression of willingness or happiness to go off with the alienated parent might result in rejection by the alienator. The separation anxiety disorder diagnosis is most often applicable to the mild and moderate cases of PAS. In the severe cases, the anxiety element is less operative than the anger element.

When applying these criteria to the PAS child, one does well to substitute the PAS indoctrinating parent for the parent with whom the child is pathologically attached. At the same time one should substitute the alienated parent for the school or other place outside the child’s home. When one does this, one can see how most of the aforementioned criteria apply. When the child with a separation anxiety disorder is fearful of leaving the home to go to many destinations, the school is the destination the child most fears. It is there that the child feels imprisoned. In contrast, PAS children generally fear only the target parent and are not afraid to leave the programming parent and go elsewhere, such as to the homes of friends and relatives. In short, the PAS child’s fear is focused on the alienated parent. In contrast, the child with a separation anxiety disorder has fears that focus on school but which have spread to many other situations and destinations.

300.15 Dissociative Disorder

Not Otherwise Specified

This category is included for disorders in which the predominant feature is a dissociative symptom (i.e., a disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, or perception of the environment) that does not meet the criteria for any specific Dissociative Disorder. Examples include:

States of dissociation that occur in individuals who have been subjected to periods of prolonged and coercive persuasion (e.g., brainwashing, thought reform, or indoctrination while captive).

Of the four categories of dissociative disorder (NOS), only Category 3 is applicable to the PAS. This criterion was designed for people who have been subjected to cult indoctrinations or for military prisoners subjected to brainwashing designed to convert their loyalty from their homeland to the enemy that has imprisoned them. It is very applicable to PAS children, especially those in the severe category.

Such children have been programmed to convert their loyalty from a loving parent to the brainwashing parent exclusively. Cult victims and those subjected to prisoner indoctrinations often appear to be in a trance-like state in which they profess their indoctrinations in litany-like fashion. PAS children as well (especially those in the severe category) are often like robots or automatons in the way in which they profess the campaign of denigration in litany-like fashion. They seem to be in an altered state of consciousness when doing so.

Adjustment Disorders

The following subtypes of adjustment disorders are sometimes applicable to PAS children:

309.0 With Depressed Mood.

309.24 With Anxiety.

309.28 With Mixed Anxiety and Depressed Mood.

309.3 With Disturbance of Conduct.

309.4 With Mixed Disturbance of Emotions and Conduct

Each of these types of adjustment disorders may be applicable to the PAS child. The child is indeed adjusting to a situation in which one parent is trying to convince the youngster that a previously loving, dedicated, and loyal parent has really been noxious, loathsome, and dangerous. The programmed data does not seem to coincide with what the child has experienced. This produces confusion. The child fears that any expression of affection for the target parent will result in rejection by the alienator. Under such circumstances, the child may respond with anxiety, depression, and disturbances of conduct.

313.9 Disorder of Infancy, Childhood or Adolescence Not Otherwise Specified

This category is a residual category for disorders with onset in infancy, childhood, or adolescence that do not meet criteria for any specific order in the Classification.

This would be a “last resort” diagnosis for the PAS child, the child who, although suffering with a PAS, does not have symptoms that warrant other DSM-IV childhood diagnoses. However, if one still feels the need to use a DSM-IV diagnosis, especially if the report will be compromised without one, then this last-resort diagnosis can justifiably be utilized. However, it is so vague that it says absolutely nothing other than that the person who is suffering with this disorder is a child. I do not recommend its utilization because of its weakness and because it provides practically no new information to the court.

The complete original article can be found here: http://www.fact.on.ca/Info/pas/gard02e.htm

MICHIGAN: State Supreme Court OKs Removing Child From Native American Mother (2009-07-15)

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children legal status, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, cps fraud, custody, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Foster CAre Abuse, Freedom, Indians, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, state crimes, Title Iv-D on July 20, 2009 at 7:41 pm

Idiot state court workers followed the rules, but the rules broke the ICWA which protect Indian Children.

To terminate an Indian child parent relationship takes evidence “beyond a reasonable doubt”  not clear and convincing evidence.

The Michican Supreme Court justices apparently cannot read or understand federal law is the supreme law of the land.  – Parental Rights

25 U.S.C. § 1912 (d), (e), (f).

Reasonable Doubt Standard for Termination of Parental Rights

Section 1912(f), supra, specifies a beyond a reasonable doubt standard of proof for termination of parental rights proceedings. A number of other jurisdictions use a dual standard of proof in ICWA cases in which a clear and convincing standard is applied to the state law requirements for termination of parental rights and the reasonable doubt standard is applied only to the requirement in 25 U.S.C. § 1912(f) that continued custody by the parent is likely to result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child. E.g., In re H.A.M., 961 P.2d 716, 719 (Kan. App. 1998). The prevailing practice in Oklahoma trial courts has been to use the reasonable doubt standard for both the state law requirements for termination of parental rights and the requirements in 25 U.S.C. § 1912(f), however. In addition, in In the Matter of T.L., 2003 OK CIV APP 49, ¶ 15, 71 P.3d 43, the Oklahoma Court of Civil Appeals applied the reasonable doubt standard to both the requirements in 25 U.S.C. § 1912(f) and the Oklahoma state law requirements that the parent failed to correct conditions leading to adjudication and that the child had been in foster care for 15 of the 22 months preceding the filing of the termination proceedings. Using the reasonable doubt standard for both the state law requirements and the requirements in 25 U.S.C. § 1912(f) avoids the difficulty of explaining different standards of proof to the jury, and is therefore less confusing to the jury. Applying the higher reasonable doubt standard also gives greatest effect to the ICWA, and it is therefore less likely to result in reversal of a termination of parental rights decision than applying the lower clear and convincing evidence standard. Accordingly, the reasonable doubt standard is used in these instructions for both the state law requirements and the requirements in 25 U.S.C. § 1912(f).

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MICHIGAN: State Supreme Court OKs Removing Child From Native American Mother (2009-07-15)

(2009-07-15)

(MPRN)

The Michigan Supreme Court says state welfare workers followed the rules when they removed an American Indian child from her mother’s home, and asked a court to terminate her parental rights.

The issue here is whether state Department of Human Services employees complied with a court rule. It says the state has to make a special effort to avoid breaking up American Indian families. The mother is a member of the Sault Sainte Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians.

Five justices of the Supreme Court said there was clear and convincing evidence that removing the boy was necessary to rescue from further emotional or physical harm. The mother had already had already lost custody of her other children. And the majority said the fact that she was convicted of drunk driving showed substance abuse counseling was not helping her.

Two justices dissented. Justices Michael Cavanagh and Marilyn Kelly said child welfare workers should have done more to show how the mother’s current circumstances, and not just her history, required authorities to remove the child. © Copyright 2009, MPRN

MICHIGAN: State Supreme Court OKs Removing Child From Native American Mother (2009-07-15).

False Allegations of Child Molestation and Child Abuse

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on July 20, 2009 at 4:31 pm

FALSE ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD MOLESTATION AND CHILD ABUSE: WHAT IS REAL AND WHAT ONLY APPEARS TO BE REAL, AND HOW TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE

By: Edward Martinovich, Attorney at Law and Ariella Rosenberg

In 1986, a defendant was convicted of four counts of first-degree sexual offense and ordered to serve two life sentences. In 2001, after spending fourteen years in prison, this defendant was released, two years after his daughter, admitted that she had lied about her father molesting her. Although a medical examiner had found no evidence of the defendant’s alleged sexual abuse, the daughters story was so convincing that it held up until she finally admitted to the falsehood. Her excuse: she had lied to escape her strict, religious upbringing. The cost: 14 years of freedom and his reputation. His life was irreparably harmed.

A similar case occurred last year, when, after spending twelve years in prison, the defendant walked free. The defendant had been sentenced to forty years in prison in 1992 for molesting a 3-year-old girl. A few years ago, the alleged victim found out that the defendant was in prison and told a relative that she had been coerced into lying to authorities. Apparently, another relative, who had harbored a long-standing grudge against the defendant, had coached the girl.

Sadly, false accusations of molestation are a frequent reality in the criminal justice system.
Besides detracting from credible cases of true sexual abuse, false accusations have put many innocent men and women behind bars, while destroying their families and ruining their lives. The motives for manipulating a child into making a false accusation can range from revenge over a broken relationship to a desire to gain full custody of a child. In cases where there are huge sums of money at stake, or in cases involving celebrities, such as the recent Michael Jackson trial, the motives often include a desire to obtain a financial winfall from a public figure.

Federal Law on Child Abuse Prevention

The Mondale Act of 1974, also known as the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), brought the phenomenon of child molestation to the public eye.
42 U.S.C.A. 5101. Before the passage of CAPTA, child abuse was concealed and rarely reported. With the Acts adoption, states were required to enact more effective child abuse laws, threatening to withhold funding should the provisions of the federal code not be incorporated into state law.

Although the Act is clearly beneficial to the plight of abused children, it is also vulnerable to abuse by those with unseemly agendas. Whereas the Act contains provisions for immunity for individuals making good faith reports of suspected or known instances of child abuse, anyone failing to report any incident of suspected child abuse can be convicted of a felony and have their professional license suspended. 42 U.S.C.A. 5106a. Understandably, the system encourages officials and experts to err on the side of reporting cases of potential child abuse. However, the combination of extreme pressure on officials not to miss a valid report of abuse and the relatively minor consequences faced by false accusers create a tension in the bureaucratic structure, thereby creating a legal nightmare for the wrongfully accused.

After spending twenty years in a California prison after a 1985 child molestation conviction, on defendant was released last year on his 61st birthday. Four of the defendants accusers, now adults, testified that overzealous criminal investigators manipulated them until they fabricated the stories of abuse. Doctors had never even examined the victims. The defendants case demonstrates a classic case of nervous and overanxious childcare officials fearing the legal consequences of failing to protect a truly abused child, only to overreact and lead children into false accusations of molestation.

Different states maintain different statutes regarding punishment for those who coach their children into false accusations against a spouse to gain advantage during a bitter divorce or custody battle. The phenomenon is common enough to have been given a name by mental health professionals: SAID syndrome (sexual allegations in divorce). It goes hand in hand with Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS), a disorder made up of a combination of brainwashing of a child by one parent to incriminate the other, and of self-created contributions by the child in support of the alienating parents campaign of incrimination. PAS is almost exclusively seen in the context of child-custody disputes, during which false accusations of molestation often arise. Whereas the legal consequences for convicted molesters can include life in prison and lifetime registration as a criminal sex offender, oftentimes those who coerce a child into a false accusation face no more than a fine and less than a year in jail. Let us examine the high-stakes custody battle between a casino mogul and former playboy model wife. Although the judge in the initial trial found that the defendant had coached the couples twin daughters, then 4, to make false accusations of sexual abuse against their father, on appeal, judges still returned the twins to their mothers custody. In this case, the penalty his estranged wife suffered for forcing their children to lie was actually a victory, in that she gained custody of the children.

What To Do If You Are Falsely Accused

False allegations of child molestation are different from most other criminal allegations due to their sexual content, which makes them emotionally charged and highly sensitive. Moreover, since a mere touch of a child can form the basis for a molestation charge in most jurisdictions, these allegations rarely have any medical evidence to support them. Consequently, the trial becomes a battle between the words of a very sympathetic young child versus those of a less sympathetic adult. Add to this, general public paranoia and outrage fueled sometimes by incessant media coverage and you have a recipe for disaster. Therefore, when a child claims to have been abused, the accused is forced to become a public figure and come forward to proclaim his innocence, and, in some instances, be forced to testify at a trial. This creates unfairness within the criminal justice system, wherein the accused has a right to remain silent and is presumed innocent until proven guilty by the prosecution.

Those who have been falsely accused of crimes against children, especially crimes that are sexual in nature, have options. It is imperative to retain expert legal counsel early on in the process. This means at the beginning of an investigation by either the social service agency or law enforcement. What is done at the outset can dictate how and if a criminal prosecution will ensue. Of course, it goes without saying that anyone who is facing criminal prosecution should have an attorney who is experienced in handling these types of criminal cases. Many accused adults decide to plead no contest or guilty to false accusations of molestation under the mistaken belief that a plea does not constitute a criminal conviction. Further, they feel compelled to accept such a plea offer because it results in less custody time than they face if they went to trial and were convicted. What the uninformed person does not know is that a plea of no contest or a plea of guilty is a criminal conviction, which may result in the loss of ones right to appeal, the requirement of lifetime registration as a sex offender, and the public posting of ones name and place of residence. 42 U.S.C.A. 14071. A convicted sex offender may also be ordered to undergo treatment, may be barred from holding certain kinds of jobs, and may be ordered to stay away from children, including their own, regardless of whether or not they were the alleged victims, or to enjoy only supervised visits. Moreover, convicted sex offenders often are subject to searches, seizures, and interrogations by law enforcement every time that a sex crime occurs in the area in which they live. The bottom line is that before one makes a decision that has such far-reaching consequences, one must be absolutely certain that he has received the best counsel possible.

For these reasons, a seasoned legal expert is crucial to help fight false accusations. A smart attorney will prepare a roadmap of the strategy to be used to defend against these types of allegations. A good attorney will discuss with the client what resources will be needed to wage the war against the governments charges. One most certainly will consider the need for medical, psychological and sociological experts.

1. Experts can evaluate and analyze medical or scientific evidence.
2. Experts can conduct an in-depth evaluation of the client.
3. Experts can educate a judge and jury as to the nature of child witnesses and the subject of suggestibility of children.
4. Experts can review and analyze video, audio and written accounts of a childs interview to determine whether the proper interviewing techniques were employed and whether or not a child is credible.

A smart attorney will also counsel the client as to how to conduct himself and what proactive steps to take prior to any trial in order to prepare for certain phases of the case. It is important to note that one who is accused should never confront the child or any other witness about the investigation. A simple conversation may lead to charges of violation of an order of protection, which orders are routinely issued in these types of cases, as well as accusations of intimidating a witness or endangering the welfare of a child.

A smart attorney may also discuss the possibility of having the client submit to a polygraph test (records the bodys responses to truths and lies to judge credibility) and/or a plethysmograph test (records sexual responses to pedophilic material to determine whether any sexually based mental health disorders may be present). Some of these tests and their results may not be legally admissible in court; however, they may be successfully used in discussions with a prosecutor prior to the filing of a criminal complaint to affect the decision as to whether and what types of charges are filed or in negotiation and mitigation once the criminal prosecution has begun.

If I am innocent of the allegations, why do I need a lawyer?

A person who is being investigated for a crime he or she did not commit can benefit from hiring an attorney as soon as possible, even before charges are brought. In particular, in investigations of sexual crimes, such as child molestation, it is important to have the benefit of counsel as early as possible. As a person under investigation, your most important protection is your right to hold the government to the burden of proving its case without any voluntary statement from you.

Your attorney can communicate on your behalf to the investigators. False allegations of child abuse and child molestation sometimes occur when a family member is engaged in a child custody or divorce proceeding. Although many states have laws that impose sanctions for making such accusations, (for example, California Family Code Section 3027.1)(*1) many accusations are still made because it is often difficult for the court to conclude that the allegation was made in bad faith, and not out of an exercise of caution in response to some statement by the child.

If child abuse investigators are contacting you, they have already concluded they have some basis to believe the accusations are true. Investigative agencies are not legally required to follow up on all accusations they receive, and often reject fanciful and contrived allegations without contacting the suspect. If the allegation is false but sufficiently believable for investigators to proceed, the accuser has most likely provided a wealth of factual detail to support the allegations. In questioning a suspect, investigators rarely provide the accused with reports of the allegations, and are even permitted to mislead the accused in an effort to prompt the accused to give a statement. Your statement may inadvertently corroborate relatively minor details, providing sufficient evidence for an arrest to occur.

If you are falsely accused of child molestation it is important to take precautions. Falsely accused persons often mistakenly believe that hiring counsel will cause the authorities to assume the suspect must be guilty. In truth, investigators, prosecutors, and courts must respect your right to counsel and your right to remain silent. They cannot infer that your statement would have implicated you merely because you have retained counsel, or you have declined to give a statement. On the other hand, any statement a falsely accused suspect gives may supply inadvertent corroboration to the accusations, and therefore allow the authorities to obtain probable cause for arrest.

Furthermore, there is no guarantee as to the length of time an accused person will be questioned or under what circumstances. Investigators who believe they can break down a suspects resistance to admitting the truth of a crime may prolong questioning for many hours. They may also question the accused about a wide range of topics, which may appear to not even relate to the present situation. They may conduct the interview in a very uncomfortable setting, even leaving the accused isolated for many hours in an effort to overcome resistance and make the suspect feel hopeless. Finally, investigators are trained at obtaining statements and admissions that are favorable to the prosecution, and may succeed in doing so, even when the accused is innocent.

Due to the current legal and political environment described above and the significant consequences of a sex crimes criminal conviction a criminal defense attorneys assistance could prevent formal charges.

A person investigated for child molestation should remember that only conversations with his or her attorney and the attorneys staff and investigators are privileged against discovery. Any conversation with police investigators, child protective services, family, friends and the alleged victim can be admitted into court as evidence of admissions (*2) or prior inconsistent statements. Even minor deviations between a different persons accounts of the accusers side of the story can appear significant in a later trial.

Frequently police set up a call from the alleged victim to the suspect and monitor the call for any type of incriminating statement, which may be used in the subsequent criminal prosecution. A person is under no obligation whatsoever to cooperate with authorities in his own criminal prosecution and by allowing an attorney to speak for him, the falsely accused may very well save himself from a criminal conviction. An attorney may even be able to supply evidence in your favor, such as statements from other witnesses, or arrange for a psychological evaluation showing that you do not have the personality profile of a person who victimizes children.

The vast majority of those convicted of criminal charges have made some type of statement in investigators, while conversely those who exercise their right to remain silent have a much stronger likelihood of avoiding a criminal prosecution.

As our discussion reveals, the crime of child molestation and other crimes against children are serious offenses that are not to be taken lightly under any circumstances. Given the gravity of the offenses and the severity of the possible consequences, those who have been falsely accused of child molestation or similar crimes must have an experienced attorney at their side in order to prepare and execute an effective defense.


Back to Firm Articles

*1 California Family Code 3027.1.

False accusations of child abuse or neglect during child custody proceedings; knowledge; penalties

(a) If a court determines, based on the investigation described in Section 3027or other evidence presented to it, that an accusation of child abuse or neglect made during a child custody proceeding is false and the person making the accusation knew it to be false at the time the accusation was made, the court may impose reasonable money sanctions, not to exceed all costs incurred by the party accused as a direct result of defending the accusation, and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred in recovering the sanctions, against the person making the accusation. For the purposes of this section, “person” includes a witness, a party, or a party’s attorney.

(b) On motion by any person requesting sanctions under this section, the court shall issue its order to show cause why the requested sanctions should not be imposed. The order to show cause shall be served on the person against whom the sanctions are sought and a hearing thereon shall be scheduled by the court to be conducted at least 15 days after the order is served.

(c) The remedy provided by this section is in addition to any other remedy provided by law.

*2 An admission is any statement made by a criminal defendant outside of court. An admission need not even be a statement adverse to the defendants interest. For example, California Evidence Code Section 1220 defines an admission by a party as:

1220. Admission of party
Evidence of a statement is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule when offered against the declarant in an action to which he is a party in either his individual or representative capacity, regardless of whether the statement was made in his individual or representative capacity.

This rule is very advantageous to a criminal prosecutor, because while any alleged statement of the defendant can be admitted, because the defendant is a party to the case, the accuser is not a party to the case, and his or her statements out of court are therefore not admissible under this rule.

A prior inconsistent statement is also admissible. California Evidence Code Section 1235 provides:

1235. Inconsistent statements
Evidence of a statement made by a witness is not made inadmissible by the hearsay rule if the statement is inconsistent with his testimony at the hearing

CALCRIM Instruction No. 318 explains to juries that all versions of a witnesss statement, whether spoken live in court, or introduced as a prior inconsistent statement are admitted for the jury to consider for their potential truth. This also allows jurors to decide if the version presented in court by the witness is to be believed:

318. Prior Statements as Evidence

*3 You have heard evidence of [a] statement[s] that a witness made before the trial. If you decide that the witness made (that/those) statement[s], you may use (that/those) statement[s] in two ways:

1. To evaluate whether the witness’s testimony in court is believable;
AND

2. As evidence that the information in (that/those) earlier statement[s] is true.
This rule applies to any witness who testifies on either side of the case, or whose hearsay statements are admitted through another witnesss testimony.

3. All criminal courts allow the accused to admit evidence of his or her good character as a defense to crimes. Juries may find a verdict of Not Guilty based on good character alone, for example, CALCRIM Instruction 350 reads in part: Evidence of the defendants character for _______ <insert character trait> can by itself create a reasonable doubt In the California case of People v. Stoll (1989) 49 Cal.3d 1136, 783 P.2d 698, 265 Cal.Rptr. 111, the California Supreme Court found that a defendant may introduce evidence of a psychologists expert opinion, based on interviews of the client and standardized psychological testing that the defendant is not sexually deviate:

we found prejudicial error in the exclusion of expert opinion testimony that defendant is “not a sexual deviate” where offered to prove that he did not commit lewd and lascivious acts upon a child. (Stoll, supra, 49 Cal.3d at 1152).

Imhoff & Associates, PC Criminal Defense Attorneys.

Kids recant abuse claims after dad jailed 20 years

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, CPS, custody, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Freedom, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Sociopath, Title Iv-D on July 12, 2009 at 5:22 pm

VANCOUVER, Wash. — Former Vancouver police officer Clyde Ray Spencer spent nearly 20 years in prison after he was convicted of sexually molesting his son and daughter. Now, the children say it never happened.

Matthew Spencer and Kathryn Tetz, who live in Sacramento, Calif., each took the stand Friday in Clark County Superior Court to clear their father’s name, The Columbian newspaper reported.

Matthew, now 33, was 9 years old at the time. He told a judge he made the allegation after months of insistent questioning by now-retired Clark County sheriff’s detective Sharon Krause just so she would leave him alone.

Tetz, 30, said she doesn’t remember what she told Krause back in 1985, but she remembers Krause buying her ice cream. She said that when she finally read the police reports she was “absolutely sure” the abuse never happened.

“I would have remembered something that graphic, that violent,” Tetz said.

Spencer’s sentence was commuted by then-Gov. Gary Locke in 2004 after questions arose about his conviction. Among other problems, prosecutors withheld medical exams that showed no evidence of abuse, even though Krause claimed the abuse was repeated and violent.

Despite the commutation, Spencer remains a convicted sex offender. He is hoping to have the convictions overturned.

Krause declined an interview request from The Columbian in 2005 and could not be reached Friday, the newspaper reported.

Both children said that while growing up in California they were told by their mother, who divorced Spencer before he was charged, that they were blocking out the memory of the abuse.

They said they realized as adults the abuse never happened, and they came forward because it was the right thing to do.

Prosecutors aren’t yet conceding that Spencer was wrongly convicted. Senior deputy prosecutor Kim Farr grilled the children about why they are so certain they weren’t abused, and chief criminal deputy prosecutor Dennis Hunter said that if the convictions are tossed, his office might appeal to the state Supreme Court.

Matthew Spencer said his father had ruined the relationship with his mother and he had faults, “but none of them were molesting children.”

Friday’s hearing paved the way for the state Court of Appeals to allow Spencer to withdraw the no-contest pleas he entered in 1985 and have his convictions vacated. Both children had previously filed statements with the appeals court, but the judges required the hearing to ensure their new testimony held up under cross-examination.

Spencer, 61, hugged his son and daughter afterward while a dozen supporters cheered.

“For so many years, nothing went right,” he said. “When things keep going right, I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

The hardest thing about his ordeal was missing his children, he said.

“They were my life, and they were taken away from me,” he said. “I could serve in prison. …”

His voice trailed off, and his son came up for one more hug.

Kids recant abuse claims after dad jailed 20 years.

The Ring Thing

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on July 12, 2009 at 4:57 pm

We must have marriage

By W. Bradford Wilcox

This Sunday, neighbors, husbands, and especially children should lift a glass to the mothers who have managed to get and stay married to the fathers of their children. For, despite the fact that single motherhood never seems to go out of style with the media, motherhood typically works best — for our nation’s neighborhoods, children, and even most moms — with a wedding ring.

You will not read any of this in the New York Times, which seems to think sperm-donor-dads are just fine, but married mothers serve our nation’s neighborhoods, children, and even themselves better than any of the dizzying array of alternatives to married motherhood. This truth was abundantly clear to me after surveying the social-scientific literature on marriage and child well-being with 15 other family scholars for a recent report, Why Marriage Matters: Twenty-Six Conclusions from the Social Sciences.

Take crime. Mothers who manage to get and stay married are much less likely to produce boys who end up terrorizing playgrounds, parks, and little old ladies walking home from the grocery store. One recent Princeton study found that boys who grew up in an intact, married family were half as likely to end up in prison as young adults. After studying murder and robbery rates in our nation’s cities, Harvard sociologist Robert Sampson observed, “Family structure is one of the strongest, if not the strongest, predictor of variations in urban violence across cities in the United States.” This is why neighbors should thank the married mothers on their block.

Or take psychological well-being. Children who are fortunate to grow up with a married mother and father are much less likely to find themselves in serious emotional trouble. By contrast, children who grow up without their father are significantly more likely to suffer from depression. And for some children, it gets much worse than depression. In the last half-century, suicide has more than tripled among teens and young adults; one recent Harvard study found the single “most important explanatory variable” behind this disturbing rise in youth suicide was the “increased share of youth living in homes with a divorced parent.” This is why children should thank their mothers for getting and staying married.

Or take a mother’s relationship with her sons and daughters. No one is surprised to learn that divorced and never-married fathers typically have poor relationships with their fathers. After all, most nonresidential fathers do not even see their children once a week. But even mothers are much more likely to have poor relationships with their children when dad is not in the picture. One study found that young adults whose parents were divorced were nearly twice as likely to report that they had a poor relationship with their mother compared to young adults who were raised in an intact, married family (30 versus 16 percent). This is why mothers, who usually make great efforts to have good relationships with their children, should also make every effort to get and stay married.

This is not to say that mothers should endure abusive or adulterous relationships, nor is it to devalue the heroic sacrifices that many single mothers make on behalf of their children. (Full disclosure: I think my own mother did a wonderful job raising me and my sister all on her own.) Indeed, the best social-scientific evidence suggests that children do better when their parents part ways if their relationship is characterized by serious physical or emotional abuse.

But the sad fact of the matter is that most divorces — two-thirds, according to a recent book by Penn State sociologists Paul Amato and Alan Booth — do not involve such abuse. All too many divorcing spouses “grow apart,” take an interest in an attractive coworker, or decide that their personal happiness is more important than the happiness of their spouse and children. And, according to Amato and Booth, these divorces are precisely the ones that are most devastating to the children who have to endure them.

Why does marriage matter so much for children? Typically, two parents bring more social and economic resources to the parenting enterprise than does one parent. Two parents offer one another mutual support, encouragement, and relief when a child is difficult, disobedient, or depressed. For instance, a husband can step in and relieve a wife who has grown angry or exhausted with her children. This, by the way, is one reason married moms are more likely to have children who report good relationships with them; because of the financial, practical, and emotional support they receive from their husbands, married moms are more likely to be affectionate and authoritative — and less likely to be abusive — than are single mothers.

Marriage also binds children to their fathers, who usually find it very difficult to maintain consistent and positive relationships with their children without the support and encouragement of their children’s mother. Finally, children who are fortunate to have married parents who are considerate of and committed to one another enjoy a measure of emotional security — not to mention a model of adult love that gives them hope for their own marital future — that their peers in broken homes do not.

So, this Mother’s Day, lift a glass to dear old Mom, and lift it especially high if she honored the vows she made on her wedding day.

— W. Bradford Wilcox, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, is a fellow at the Witherspoon Institute.

via The Ring Thing by W. Bradford Wilcox on National Review Online.

Usher Review: PBS Documentary “Breaking the Silence”: Evidently a Conspiracy

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children criminals, children legal status, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome on July 10, 2009 at 9:50 pm


Sunday, December 18, 2005

PBS Documentary “Breaking the Silence”: Evidently a Conspiracy

In October, PBS released a scandalous documentary about domestic violence titled “Breaking the Silence”. Despite studied science on the issue, the producers of the show intentionally censored all information contrary to their partisan mission, which we know now was to go to extraordinary lengths portraying fathers as batterers who take custody of children as the final act of abuse.

Breaking the Silence pretends that the system “routinely penalizes women who are victims of domestic violence by favoring their abusers in battles over child custody”. Anyone who knows about how domestic violence laws are routinely applied knows that when a woman files any allegation of abuse, or even fear of abuse, the father is immediately thrown out of the home and has little chance of custody and even visitation.

The tactical purpose of the documentary is to synthesize an epidemic of unrestrained male batterers who seize children from completely unprotected abused women. Perhaps if this documentary were about life in Sudan, they might have a point.

The producers walked into their own trap. One of the supposedly-abused women, who was attempting to seize custody of the child from the father, was found responsible for multiple acts of child abuse in court. Despite being informed of this fact in advance, the producers filmed the documentary according to the prefabricated story board, while refusing to include any perspectives from fathers with legitimate cases.

CPB and PBS Ombudmen Agree That Breaking the Silence Is Flawed

A tsunami of equalitarian organizations and activists rose to the occasion, taking PBS and CPB to task. Glenn Sacks, Carey Roberts, Wendy McElroy, Cathy Young, the American Coalition for Fathers and Children, Mark Rosenthal, Fathers and Families, and a cotillion of others called PBS and CPB out on the carpet.

It did not take long for ombudsmen from PBS and CPB to agree with us. Ken Bode, the CPB ombudsman found that “there is no hint of balance in Breaking the Silence”. The PBS Ombudsman, Michael Gettler opined “My assessment, as a viewer and as a journalist, is that this was a flawed presentation by PBS. I have no doubt that this subject merited serious exposure and that these problems exist and are hard to get at journalistically. But it seemed to me that PBS and CPTV were their own worst enemy and diminished the impact and usefulness of the examination of a real issue by what did, indeed, come across as a one-sided, advocacy program.”

PBS published an article in Current, glossing over the major flaws in the documentary. The focus is quickly shifted away from the core issues we raise –- which are that the documentary is deeply unbalanced, partisan, sexist, and a fakery of science. Current conveniently changes the subject, pretending that the brouhaha is merely over whether parental alienation syndrome (PAS) exists or not.

Whether or not parental alienation is a diagnosable psychological disorder is not an issue we have raised. We are interested in the fact that parental alienation often takes in divorce and custody situations, most often disrupting the child’s relationship with the father. It should be noted that even the leading critics in the “syndrome diagnosis” debate agree with us that parents often alienate children in divorce and custody situations. The issue we raise is the maltreatment of fathers, science, and facts surrounding divorce, child abuse, domestic violence, and parental alienation that masqueraded as documentary on domestic violence, intended to ensure that men are not afforded equal standing to be custodial parents in the event of divorce.

Censorship, Multiple Abuses of Science, and Absence of Journalistic Ethics

Dr. Richard Gardner defined parental alienation as ”any constellation of behaviors, whether conscious or unconscious, that could evoke a disturbance in the relationship between a child and the other parent”. Breaking the Silence is, in itself, an act of parental alienation aimed at all fathers. It is intended to cover for or rationalize-away the alienating behaviors of mothers — even mothers known to be abusers – and generate irrational public fears and discrimination against fathers in public policy and law.

Dr. Murray Straus, the leading authority on domestic violence objected strongly to misuse of his research cited out-of-context in the NNEDV Guide to “Breaking the Silence”. The intent of the guide was to create an illusion that fathers are responsible for the substantial majority of spousal and child abuse.

Lasseur flatly justified censorship of all fathers perspectives (reasonable or otherwise), on the insupportable grounds that the fathers perspective is generically “destructive”. Read: when you are getting paid a half million dollars by radical feminists to do a partisan documentary, you only cite liturgy from the feminist “bible”.

Lasseur’s alternate (and equally indefensible) excuse for his decision to entirely censor the father’s perspective pretends that censorship is somehow more balanced than giving the father’s perspective short shrift; ”If we had featured the stories of one man and five women who had been victims of domestic abuse, statistically we would have overstated the problems of men in this area. Nevertheless, we recognize that men are also victims and men are also sometimes victimized by family courts, but the fact is that many more women are victims”.

Despite the torrent of valid criticism of the documentary, Dominique Lasseur, the producer of Breaking the Silence, clings defiantly to his indefensible film. He states in the Current article, “we believe that the comments and concerns that have come in so far [concerning the documentary] are often not based on the full and complete content of the program”. The reverse is true: the content of the program was intentionally not full or complete, as the producer has admitted in his prior two statements. We strenuously object to the fact that the producer intentionally censored information and perspectives that do not explicitly adhere to the radical feminist propaganda he attempts to transmogrify into social policy and jurisprudence.

The Current article also features an evasive exculpatory statement by the producers, but nothing by anyone legitimately criticizing the film. Here, the producer cites the long-debunked feminist myth “while women are less likely than men to be victims of violent crimes overall, women are five to eight times more likely than men to be victimized by an intimate partner”, as his excuse for committing an hour of journalistic hate crimes.

Lasseur has generated a number of nebulous statements in defense of his film. None of them would win in debate class because he has never directly rebutted the points of our remonstrance.

Evidence Of Conspiracy

Our complaint is now much more serious than before. I have uncovered evidence that the producers of Breaking the Silence were aware that it was not an honest film.

Lasseur is planning another documentary aimed at establishing judicial accountability when judges do not acquiesce to the demands of radical women’s organizations. He is apparently working with Meera Fox, an attorney and executive Director of Abuse Solutions located in Berkeley, Ca, who among other things works the issues of domestic violence and child abuse as a trainer and presenter for public policy symposiums. Fox is evidently working with street-level women’s operatives, including the Mothers Research and Resource Center (MRRC), located in Gilbert, Arizona.

As is the case with most non-professional street-level feminist advocates, MRRC is rather loose-lipped about what it is doing, revealing feminist Schadenfreude that can often be witnessed when internal information accidentally falls into the public eye. The MRRC website demonstrates what the entire chain of actors was really thinking and doing behind-the-scenes of Breaking the Silence.

Both Meera Fox and Dominique Lasseur are apparently aware they are fabricating yet another false documentary, and that collecting supportive anecdotal footage might not be an easy task. The MRRC website contains an apparent confession [emphasis added]: “Dominique is passionately interested in continuing his work in this area, as he can see how raising the public’s consciousness about this problem and indeed, creating a public outcry about it, will be key to achieving the reforms we seek in Family Court …. I know you will all agree that this is a project that would be worth its weight in gold if he [Lasseur] can pull it off. He envisions marketing a series on Family Court failure to Court TV, Frontline, America Undercover, or all three, if we can get him enough information, footage and support. The reason he met with me about this project is because I know all of you and he was hoping I could rally you troops to help him with his project.”

The phrase “worth its weight in gold” likely reveals Meena Fox’s end-goal as a feminist attorney in steering courts to liquidate fatherhood, seize family assets, and children. Is there any other substantial benefit she could possibly be chasing? We think not. “Pulling it off” is a term commonly used in planning bank robberies, political subterfuge, and other illegitimate activities. The statement that Lasseur is actively pursing the same target, and driving the execution of it all, suggests that he is on the same page.
We have archived this web page for future reference, since it will probably be deleted by the time you read this article.

The business relationships between the Mary Kay Foundation, the producers, PBS, and feminist activists appear to constitute a profitable conspiracy against men in marriage and society. The actors used the profits of cosmetics to finance a false and inflammatory documentary, transmitted via the federally-supported public television network, thus allowing feminists the largesse to easily end marriages behind the closed doors of courtrooms for arbitrary and even irresponsible reasons. This can be done successfully only if radical feminists can project all family problems on the husband, thus seizing chattel control of family, assets, and income.

Breaking the Silence plays into the larger multi-billion-dollar conspiracy of the “no-fault” divorce industry, that has bilked about half the fathers in America out of their earnings, savings, and social position as husbands and fathers. Divorce hurts far more women than it helps. In fact, divorce has left more women and children in poverty, without health insurance, and at risk than any other event in American history. CPB does not understand that it can help more women and children by helping spouses work through the normal problems and processes of marriage and aging than it does by perversely magnifying feminist agenda into a cause celebre for mass divorce.

Dissembling Science to Suit Feminism

Both MRRC and Meera Fox repeatedly refer to mothers as being the “protective parent” {archived copy]. In their usage, “Protective parent” means that motherly interference with the father-child relationship is expected to take place on ideological grounds alone. Read: parental alienation is “protective” when committed by a mother, but destructive and to women and children when committed by the father.

The conversion of parental alienation into a label with two vastly disparate meanings based solely on gender of the actor, and the tactical reason for using this label, has certainly been discussed with Lasseur given the fact that it is core terminology for Fox and MRRC.

In their review of Breaking the Silence, CPB and PBS must take note that “Protective parent” is a clearly fraudulent substitute label for parental alienation. This leaves Lasseur with no foundation in credibility to now justify the legitimacy of his recipe applied in Breaking the Silence.

MRRC makes wildly-expansive claims about the results of its “National Protective Parents Survey”, reciting many factoids about divorce and domestic violence known to be either unreliable or false. Elsewhere on the MRRC web site, Meera admits that the survey includes only 157 respondents (apparently all are women). As is the norm for feminist activists, the MRRC website is loaded with anectodal stories, emotion, and factoids; and lacks any evidence of scientific balance or credibility. It is quite clear that MRRC is a highly-unreliable partisan information source that any responsible journalist would immediately avoid, but which Lasseur is apparently actively engaged.

A major thrust of the pending documentary is to create the illusion that abusive fathers seizing control of children is somehow an American epidemic. This is absolutely false. According to The US Census Department, in 2003 single mothers represent 80% of all single-parent households, single fathers only represent 20%. If fathers seizing control of children in divorce is pandemic, the statistics would be reversed. If anything, the statistics prove that mothers seizing control of families is a problem – a fact reflected by the fact that father-absence has become our greatest social problem since 1960.

MRRC and the documentary attempt to create the illusion that men are responsible for all family violence. The vast majority of credible studies and papers prove that women initiate slightly over half of all serious spousal altercations, and are responsible for over 2/3 of all serious child abuse. Breaking the Silence takes a position opposite of these facts by citing a variety of unreliable feminist studies.

When observed from an aerial view, it is not unreasonable to conclude that Breaking the Silence was an act of parental alienation, collectively committed by all parties involved the creation and dissemination of the documentary. This places additional responsibility on CPB and PBS to make a robust and accurate documentary, to undo the damage it has done.

Many Organizations Expect Responsible Decision by PBS

PBS has taken a surprisingly long time to publish the results of its inquiry. At worst, this could be “stonewalling” (as they say in management science parlance). I do not see any justification for further delay. The issues are bright and clear.

There is no evidence suggesting that this documentary is well-founded either in truth, science, or balance. It is merely a question of whether PBS has the simple corporate candor to set the record straight and make an acceptable compensatory documentary to correct the damage it has done to public attitudes towards men.

PBS cannot take the position that it is innocent. At least on PBS affiliate was actively working with local feminist activists to place the film as training material to influence legislation and court decisions. PBS affiliates were also providing free advertising directing women to local feminist activists. CPB and PBS have done great damage by allowing Breaking the Silence to be aired on hundreds of stations, completely unvetted by leading experts on domestic violence and parental alienation.

PBS now has a distinct responsibility to issue a balanced documentary, which should feature balanced, well established scientists on family violence, such as Dr. Murray Straus. It should openly include the situations of fathers who are most often the target of parental alienation. PBS must also implement a stringent pre-release review policy for all programs covering marriage, divorce, domestic violence, and child abuse, since they have often been similarly misrepresented by both NPR and PBS in the past.

Given the seriousness of this situation, I anticipate PBS will respond responsibly. In the event they do not, we are all fully prepared to pursue this issue, using all ethical means at our disposal, for as long as it takes until PBS finds reason to be responsible.

Fathers will no longer sit for being abused by the media. Nine years ago, I organized the first national protest in the history of the men’s movement, over the movie “First Wives Club”. The protest, hastily organized in eight days and held in 26 cities across America, was covered briefly in Time Magazine. A segment was filmed for Hard Copy. Universal Studios immediately cancelled the sequel, which was already in progress, and has avoided these waters ever since.

Our 2001 “Bridges for Children” father’s day informational protest was held in 226 cities around the world. Our movement is much stronger today. The Violence Against Women Act [HR 3402] now requires appropriate funding for services for men living in violent environments. Many women have walked away from radical feminism to advocate for healing and marital responsibility within the legitimate marriage and family-rights movements. Structural discrimination against men in education, home, and family is now common knowledge, and a major issue for forthright media outlets and state legislatures. Times have changed, and so must CPB.

If PBS fails to honor its public mandate, Congress should end all funding of CPB and PBS. CPB is using public funds to broadcast perverse feminist social re-engineering propaganda to illegitimately influence legislation and judicial decisions.

Secondly, if PBS fails to act appropriately, everyone considering membership or making a gift to CPB or PBS, should take note that their monies may be misused to spread hate and arbitrarily destroy marriage, fatherhood, and the futures of thousands of women and children.

David R. Usher is President of the
American Coalition for Fathers and Children, Missouri Coalition

posted by David R. Usher at 12:03 PM

Usher Review: PBS Documentary “Breaking the Silence”: Evidently a Conspiracy.

PAS – 3 Keys to Healing Parental Alienation

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, custody, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, kidnapped children, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parents rights, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Sociopath on July 10, 2009 at 2:12 pm

PAS – 3 Keys to Healing Parental Alienation

Change Views on Marriage? – The Heritage Foundation

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation on July 10, 2009 at 12:00 pm

June 30, 2009
Change views on marriage
Failing Marriages

From reality show stars like Jon and Kate Gosselin to politicians to the folks next door – what we thought were the most solid of marriages are falling apart.

Viewers tuned in to TLC’s “Jon & Kate Plus 8” because it gave them hope that it is still possible to have a big, happy family led by a mom and dad who overcome all odds because of their undying commitment to each other. Others supported political leaders who we thought would fight to uphold timeless values, including the institution of marriage.

Many of us are now feeling a bit sick to our stomachs at revelations of infidelity – and are beginning to wonder whether there is any real hope left for this sacrament called marriage.

Our toxic liberal media culture tells us that the “old-fashioned” institution of marriage should be reinvented. This attitude feeds the selfishness at the root of all marital ills. Many people now casually shrug their shoulders and decide in advance that if they aren’t happy in marriage they will just walk away. It’s time to obliterate this cavalier attitude toward the most sacred of relationships.

America’s children and our national future suffer when mom and dad reject their vows. Consider this stunning trend: In 1950, for every 100 babies that were born in this country, 12 were born to a broken family; today, for every 100 babies that are born in America, 60 are born to a broken family. If we continue along this trajectory, our nation is doomed. The family unit has always been the basic building block of civil society. If you damage the DNA of the family unit, you end up radically changing the nation as a whole – and with tragic consequences. Not least among them are the broken hearts and lives of our children.

How to Save Your Family from Falling Apart

Fidelity, commitment and selflessness are timeless values that we must uphold in our own lives – regardless of who else may have trouble doing so. They are the keys to having strong, happy individuals and strong, happy families.

The social science data are clear: Men, women and children are all better off financially, emotionally and physically when they are part of an intact family unit where mom and dad are fully committed to each other. (Visit the Heritage Foundation’s http://www.FamilyFacts.org for more information.)

We know in our hearts this is true. Yet how many of us really work or sacrifice to make our own marriages strong? We’re willing to give our “all” to our jobs and even our hobbies. So why not start spending as much time on building your relationship with your spouse as you do on your favorite TV shows and sports? Can you imagine how vastly improved your marriage would be if you put even half the energy into it that you put into your career?

If you need professional help, please get it. Forgiveness, reconciliation and restoration are as important as fidelity and commitment – and there are counselors who can help guide you and your spouse to embrace them. Just make sure yours believes in biblical guidelines and is determined to help you save your marriage. A good place to find one is www. FamilyLife.com.

It is an amazingly beautiful experience to be married to a person who is fully committed to me and who I know loves me unconditionally. But there is something even more fulfilling than having a faithful mate: Being the person that my husband can depend on. Being the one who says, “I have your back. You can count on me. I will always love you.”

Vow today, anew, to become that person. Refuse to give up or to abandon the heart that trusted you with theirs.

Rebecca Hagelin is senior communications fellow for the Heritage Foundation and the author of “30 Ways in 30 Days to Save Your Family” and runs the Web site HowToSaveYourFamily.com.

First appeared in the Washington Times

Change views on marriage.

Divorce: The Impact on our Children

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, federal crimes, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, state crimes, Title Iv-D, Torts on July 8, 2009 at 12:30 am

The Impact on our Children

Inter-spousal violence perpetrated by men is only a small aspect of family violence. False abuse allegations are only a small tile in the mosaic of vilifying the men in our society. They serve well in successful attempts to remove fathers from the lives of our children. Here are some statistics resulting from that which show more of the whole picture.

  • 79.6% of custodial mothers receive a support award
  • 29.9% of custodial fathers receive a support award.
  • 46.9% of non-custodial mothers totally default on support.
  • 26.9% of non-custodial fathers totally default on support.
  • 20.0% of non-custodial mothers pay support at some level
  • 61.0% of non-custodial fathers pay support at some level
  • 66.2% of single custodial mothers work less than full time.
  • 10.2% of single custodial fathers work less than full time.
  • 7.0% of single custodial mothers work more than 44 hours weekly.
  • 24.5% of single custodial fathers work more that 44 hours weekly.
  • 46.2% of single custodial mothers receive public assistance.
  • 20.8% of single custodial fathers receive public assistance.

[Technical Analysis Paper No. 42 – U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services – Office of Income Security Policy]

  • 40% of mothers reported that they had interfered with the fathers visitation to punish their ex-spouse.

[“Frequency of Visitation” by Sanford Braver, American Journal of Orthopsychiatry]

  • 50% of mothers see no value in the fathers continued contact with his children.

[“Surviving the Breakup” by Joan Berlin Kelly]

  • 90.2% of fathers with joint custody pay the support due.
  • 79.1% of fathers with visitation privileges pay the support due.
  • 44.5% of fathers with no visitation pay the support due.
  • 37.9% of fathers are denied any visitation.
  • 66% of all support not paid by non-custodial fathers is due to the inability to pay.

[1988 Census “Child Support and Alimony: 1989 Series” P-60, No. 173 p.6-7, and “U.S. General Accounting Office Report” GAO/HRD-92-39FS January 1992]

[U. S. D.H.H.S. Bureau of the Census]

  • 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes.
  • 85% of all children that exhibit behavioral disorders come from fatherless homes.

[Center for Disease Control]

  • 80% of rapists motivated with displaced anger come from fatherless homes.

[Criminal Justice and Behavior, Vol. 14 p. 403-26]

  • 71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes.

[National Principals Association Report on the State of High Schools]

  • 70% of juveniles in state operated institutions come from fatherless homes

[U.S. Dept. of Justice, Special Report, Sept., 1988]

  • 85% of all youths sitting in prisons grew up in a fatherless home.

[Fulton County Georgia Jail Populations and Texas Dept. of Corrections, 1992]

  • Nearly 2 of every 5 children in America do not live with their fathers.

[US News and World Report, February 27, 1995, p.39]

There are:

  • 11,268,000 total custodial mothers
  • 2,907,000 total custodial fathers

[Current Populations Reports, US Bureau of the Census, Series P-20, No. 458, 1991]

What does this mean? Children from fatherless homes are:

  • 4.6 times more likely to commit suicide,

  • 6.6 times to become teenaged mothers (if they are girls, of course),
  • 24.3 times more likely to run away,
  • 15.3 times more likely to have behavioral disorders,
  • 6.3 times more likely to be in a state-operated institutions,
  • 10.8 times more likely to commit rape,
  • 6.6 times more likely to drop out of school,
  • 15.3 times more likely to end up in prison while a teenager.

(The calculation of the relative risks shown in the preceding list is based on 27% of children being in the care of single mothers.)

and — compared to children who are in the care of two biological, married parents — children who are in the care of single mothers are:

  • 33 times more likely to be seriously abused (so that they will require medical attention), and
  • 73 times more likely to be killed.

[“Marriage: The Safest Place for Women and Children“, by Patrick F. Fagan and Kirk A. Johnson, Ph.D. Backgrounder #1535.]

COMMON SENSE & DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, #3.

Demi’s Message to Parental Alienation Children

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children's behaviour, Civil Rights, CPS, custody, Department of Social Servies, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, state crimes on July 6, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Demi’s Message to All Alienated Children

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zjX_OmArgcs

Dads’ Presence Help Prevent Teen Girls from Having Sex

In Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on July 5, 2009 at 3:28 pm

From HealthNewsDigest.com

Guest Columnist
By Mary Jo Rapini

Guest Columnist
Jun 8, 2009 – 12:11:50 PM

(HealthNewsDigest.com) – This month all of my blogs are focused on you dads. I think your presence is so important to your daughters in almost every aspect of their life. We know that one out of six girls—ages 12 to 18—take a vow not to have premarital sex. However, 90% of those girls will break that vow and engage in sex. If dad is present in the home and engaged with his daughter it is more likely that she will not have sex before the age of 18. Dads who are involved with their daughters will offer their daughter a male’s perspective and become a role model. Dads usually are responsible for playing physical activities with their daughters. Games like catch, tag, and basketball may change allow your daughter to play sports in school and being physically active. Girls who are more physically active feel more confident about their bodies and are less likely to get pregnant, drop out of school, or put up with abusive boyfriends.

Girls who have a dad in the home don’t feel the need to be promiscuous to go out and attract a boyfriend. They don’t need a boy because their dad is usually the first member of the opposite sex they will seek for knowledge or understanding about guy relationships.

Every dad who has a daughter realizes how dangerous the world can be for a woman. They also know they cannot protect their daughters or shelter them from all harm. Talking to your daughters about this and setting an example for them (in regards to how a man should treat them and what respect feels like) is a lesson your daughter will use to judge every man she encounters. Limiting pornographic literature in the home as well as celebrity magazines that glorify women as sex objects is one of the single most helpful methods. This will help your daughter understand that her body is not to be used or touched by anyone else until she is mature enough to enter a relationship where possible consequences can be dealt with and talked about.

The number one way dads help prevent teen sex before the age of eighteen is to take her desire to wear a purity or promise ring seriously. Ask what a purity/promise ring means to her. Ask her how you can help. For more information go to my “Girls Corner Page” on my web site http://www.maryjorapini.com

To your daughter you are the greatest man she has ever known. Every man she encounters after you will be compared to you for better or worse. Are you being the man/dad you want to be?

Mary Jo Rapini, MEd, LPC, is featured on TLC’s new series, Big Medicine which completed season one and two. She is also a contributing expert for Cosmopolitan magazine, Women’s Health, First, and Seventeen magazine. Mary Jo writes her own column (Note to Self) in the Houston Chronicle and “Ask Mary Jo” in Houston Family Magazine. She is an intimacy and sex counselor, and specializes in relationships. She is a popular speaker across the nation, with multiple repeat requests to serve as key-note speaker for national conferences. Her dynamic style is particularly engaging for those dealing with intimacy issues and relationship challenges, or those simply hanging on to unasked questions about sex in relationships. She was recently a major participant in a symposium for young girls dealing with body image and helping girls become strong women. Rapini is the author of Is God Pink? Dying to Heal and co-author of Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You and Your Mom about Health, Sex or Whatever. She has appeared on television programs including Montel, Fox Morning News and various Houston television and radio programs. Keep up with the latest advice at Mary Jo Rapini

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Dads’ Presence Help Prevent Teen Girls from Having Sex.

Parental Alienation Syndrome – Posts from the Canadian Children’s Rights Council

In adoption abuse, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, California Parental Rights Amendment, Child Custody, Child Support, child trafficking, children criminals, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, cps fraud, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Sociopath, state crimes, Title Iv-D on July 4, 2009 at 12:12 am

Parental Alienation – Brainwashing a child to hate a parent

About Parental Alienation
The parental alienation is a disorder that arises primarily in the context of child-custody disputes. Its primary manifestation is the child’s campaign of denigration against a parent, a campaign that has no justification. It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing) parents indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions to the vilification of the target parent. The alienation usually extends to the non-custodial parent’s family and friends as well.

Many children involved in divorce and custody litigation undergo thought reform or mild brainwashing by their parents. This disturbing fact is a product of the nature of divorce and the disintegration of the spousal relationship in our culture. Inevitably, children receive subtly transmitted messages that both parents have serious criticisms of each other.

Parental Alienation, however, is much more serious. It involves the systematic vilification by one parent of the other parent and brainwashing of the child, with the intent of alienating the child from the other parent


What happens when children are denied access to a parent and are victims of Parental Alienation?

Indian Journal of Psychiatry, 1988
A child who was separated from his or her father for a period of three months or longer while between the ages of 6 months to 5 years old, suffered a 2.5 to 5 times higher risk of conduct disorder, emotional disorders and hysteria than a child that did not go through the same period of separation.

Bron, Strack & Rudolph, Univ. of Gottingen, Germany, 1991
Drastically increased suicidal tendencies were found in people who had experienced the loss of the father.

American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 1990
Children showed the most behaviour problems if their parents were in a legal conflict and the visitation was not frequent or regular with both parents.

Acta Psychiatrica, Scandinavia, 1990, 1993
Scandinavian research found a significantly higher number of attempted adult suicides for people who, in childhood, had lost a parent through parental separation or divorce.

British Journal of Psychiatry, 1989
British researchers found that adults who suffered the loss of a parent because of separation or divorce have a significantly higher risk of developing agoraphobia with panic attacks and panic disorder.

<!–An Irish Equal-Parenting Parenting Equality has collection of , t http://homepages.iol.ie/~pe/ for other interesting information.–>

Canadian Children’s Rights Council – See our whole section regarding fatherlessness and single parent families for increased rates of teen pregnancy, increased suicide rates and more. According to STATSCAN, the Government of Canada statistics agency, single parent families headed by men were 20% of single parent households in October 2007. Our position is that this growing trend will produce similar negative results for motherless children. More..

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS): Sixteen Years Later

Academy Forum, 2001, 45(1):10-12 ( A Publication of The American Academy of Psychoanalysis ), by RICHARD A. GARDNER, M.D.

In 1985, the Academy Forum published my article, “Recent Trends in Divorce and Custody Litigation.” This was the first article in which I described the parental alienation syndrome (PAS), a disorder that I began seeing in the early 1980s. The Forum article is generally considered to be the seminal publication on the PAS, parent to at least 100 peer-reviewed articles. Although this is certainly a source of gratification for me, the sixteen years that have ensued cannot be viewed as a straight path to glory, especially because of controversies that have swirled around the diagnosis. I address here the reasons for the controversies and provide suggested solutions. More..

Newspaper Articles

The Globe and Mail

FAMILY LAW

Parental alienation cases draining court resources

Study says such cases should be moved out of court system, handled by individual judges

The Globe and Mail, by KIRK MAKIN, JUSTICE REPORTER, May 13, 2009

An escalation in parental alienation allegations is draining valuable courtroom resources, a major study of 145 alienation cases between 1989-2008 concludes.

“Access problems and alienation cases – especially those which are more severe – take up a disproportionate amount of judicial time and energy,” said the study, conducted by Queen’s University law professor Nicholas Bala, a respected family law expert.

“One can ask whether the courts should even be trying to deal with these very challenging cases.” More..


The Australian

Mother loses kids for anti-dad stance

The Australian, Australia’s national daily newspaper, by Caroline Overington, March 31, 2009

TWO children who have been in the care of their mother since their parents separated in 2005 have been sent from Hobart to live with their father in Melbourne after the Family Court heard the mother encouraged them to have “negative” feelings about their dad.

The two children – a girl, aged nine, and a boy, aged seven – had been struggling with “change overs” between parents, saying things such as “I don’t want to go” and “I don’t have to go” when their father arrived in Tasmania from Melbourne to collect them for access visits.

The court found the mother did not discourage them from saying these things, and did not encourage a positive relationship between the children and their father. More..

Parental Alienation in family law cases – One American high profile case

Read the story in the American magazine Newsweek and then read the information provided by the court office

Newsweek wrote:

“It took six years for Genia Shockome to gather the courage to leave her husband, Tim. He pushed her, kicked her and insulted her almost from the moment they married in 1994, she says. She tried to start over with their children when the family moved from Texas to Poughkeepsie, N.Y. It didn’t last long. Tim called her constantly at work and, after they split up, pounded on her door and screamed obscenities, she alleged in a complaint filed in 2001. Tim was charged with harassment. As part of a plea deal, Tim agreed to a stay-away order–but denies ever abusing her or the children. In custody hearings over the past six years, Tim has insisted that he’s been a good father, and argued that Genia’s allegations poisoned their children against him. The judge sided with Tim. This summer he was granted full custody of the kids, now 11 and 9. Genia was barred from contacting them.” More..


Edmonton Journal

Judicial passivism turning fathers into deadbeats

Judges refuse to enforce Divorce Act section that embraces equal access to child

The Edmonton Journal, Grant A. Brown, Freelance, Saturday, June 17, 2006When mothers lose in court, they are not made to pay court costs — again on the premise that this would only take money away from the children. But payment of penalties and costs is merely a transfer between parents, and only prejudice supports the proposition that fathers would be less generous toward their children than mothers, given the time and financial ability to do so.

Contrast the endless lame excuses judges use not to impose remedies for access denial with their attitude toward making and enforcing child-support orders. More ..


Parental alienation gets a day

Tribune, U.S.A., By Kathleen Parker, May 12, 2006

Proclamations generally have the same riveting power as supermarket ribbon-cuttings, but a recent one in Maine is being celebrated as a small victory for children and noncustodial parents wounded by divorce.

The proclamation, signed by Gov. John E. Baldacci, recognized April 25 as “Parental Alienation Awareness Day.”

If you don’t know what “parental alienation” is, you probably haven’t had the pleasure of a divorce with children. Veterans of those wars know without a governor’s seal exactly what it means – agony for a noncustodial parent and emotional problems for children alienated from one parent. More ..


Sexual Abuse Accusations Color Custody Battles
Consider child’s age, physical or mental disabilities, feelings of alienation when evaluating allegations.

Clinical Psychiatry News,  U.S.A., June 2005 Volume 33 Number 6, Heidi Splete, Senior Writer

HOUSTON, U.S.A. Sexual abuse allegations in a child custody case are not always true, and even professionals who work with these children can have trouble distinguishing fact from fantasy in the children’s stories, Joseph Kenan,M.D., said at the annual meeting of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry.

When a forensic psychiatrist evaluates potential sexual abuse of a child in a custody case, he or she considers a host of factors, including the child’s age, any physical or mental disabilities, and a child’s feelings of alienation toward one parent or history of siding with one parent during arguments, he said at the meeting cosponsored by the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

Although psychiatrists use careful questioning and information-gathering skills to evaluate children’s allegations, a study of 12 professionals showed that none of them could tell the difference between true and false stories after viewing videotapes of 10 different child testimonies, said Dr. Kenan, chief forensic psychiatrist at the Psychological Trauma Center, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. More..


Does DSM-IV Have Equivalents for the Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) Diagnosis?

Richard A. Gardner. M.D.
Department of Child Psychiatry, College of Physicians and Surgeons
Columbia University, New York, New York, USA click here


Psychiatric disorder may have led boy to fatally shoot father

Rick James Lohstroh, a doctor at UTMB, was fatally shot this summer, apparently by his 10-year-old son.

ABC13 Eyewitness News,  Houston, Texas, U.S.A., Dec. 29, 2004

The 10-year-old Katy boy accused of murdering his father this summer is now the face of an unofficial psychiatric disorder that may have lead to his father’s death. More ..


Billboards remember slain dad

Houston Chronicle, Feb. 13, 2005

Some new billboards in Houston are intended to keep alive the memory of Dr. Rick Lohstroh, the surgeon who police say was shot and killed by his 10-year-old son last year.

Several of Lohstroh’s friends have formed a group called Help Stop Parental Alienation Syndrome, named for the unofficial disorder that they say contributed to the 41-year-old father’s death.

Lohstroh’s family and friends believe his 2003 divorce was so contentious that his ex-wife turned their children against him, setting the stage for the Aug. 27 shooting. More ..


FAMILY WARS: The Alienation of Children

New Hampshire Bar Journal, March 1993
Composite case from actual examples More ..


Remarriage as a Trigger of Parental Alienation Syndrome

The American Journal of Family Therapy,  2000
By Richard A. Warshak of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, Dallas, Texas, USA  More ..


The Emerging Problem of Parental Alienation

by Caroline Willbourne and Lesley-Anne Cull, Barristers, December 1997,  Fam Law p. 807-8  More ..


Custody and Visitation Interference: Alternative Remedies

American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers Journal, Winter 1994,

By Joy M. Feinberg and Lori S. Loeb

The potential for psychological and physical damage to children of divorce and the parental relationship looms as a potential harbinger of doom over every divorce case. This specter becomes reality when one parent interferes with the rights of custody or visitation of the other parent by preventing the child from visiting the other parent, or by kidnapping or secreting the child from the parent who has the right to custody or visitation.

This article will discuss the visitation and custody interferences that occur during divorce and alert practitioners and judges to the psychological damage to the children. This article will review the alternative remedies available to circumvent custody and visitation interference and address the problems associated with enforcing these remedies. This examination will reveal that the available remedies lose effectiveness proportionate to the severity of the interference with custody and visitation rights.  More ..


Interference with Parental Rights of Noncustodial Parent as Grounds for Modification of Child Custody

Divorce Litigation, by Edward B. Borris, Assistant Editor, January, 1997, p. 1

Interference by one parent in the relationship of a child and the other parent is almost never in the child’s best interests. In fact, in extreme cases, actions by one parent to alienate the affections of the child from the other parent, to interfere win the other parent’s visitation rights, or to remove the child to a distant state or country can often lead to liability in tort. See generally E. Borris, “Torts Arising Out of Interference with Custody and Visitation,” 7 Divorce Litigation 192 (1995). Tort liability is not always an option, however, as many courts refuse to award damages based upon interference with visitation rights. E.g., Cosner v. Ridinger, 882 P.2d 1243 (Wyo.1994). More ..

Parental Alienation Syndrome, PAS, parental alienation in Divorce, children’s rights, Canada.