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Parental Alienation – The Kidnapper’s Trick

In Activism, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, child trafficking, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, Childrens Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, False Allegations of Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, kidnapped children, Marriage, MMPI, MMPI 2, mothers rights, Obama, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads on November 7, 2009 at 12:30 pm

by Nathan Thornburgh

Around the globe, millions have followed the story of Natascha Kampusch, the girl who was kidnapped at age 10 and held prisoner for eight years in a windowless basement near Vienna, Austria. They have clicked through snapshots of her dungeon posted on the Internet, speculated in chat rooms about why she had never been discovered, and marveled at her eloquence in her first television interview last week.

But in the U.S., one group is intently focused not on the physical layout of Kampusch’s captivity but on the mental landscape of a girl who grew up thinking her parents had abandoned her–counselors who work with children of divorced couples. Long-term abductions by strangers are thankfully rare, but psychologists say the trauma of Kampusch, 18, who was told for years that her parents had simply forgotten about her, echoes the fallout from the more common nightmare of a custody dispute in which a child is irrevocably poisoned against one parent. However composed she appears now, they warn, Kampusch has a long, treacherous road to recovering her relationship with her parents.

Convincing children that their parents don’t love them is a brutally effective way to secure children’s allegiance. Steven Stayner was kidnapped in Merced, Calif., in 1972, at age 7. For seven years, he lived with his abductor as a son, going to a public high school, often left alone but never escaping. According to Sharon Carr Griffin, a friend of Stayner’s who is writing a book about his life, Stayner’s kidnapper told him that his dad had died and his mother had signed custody of Stayner over to the kidnapper. “If you can convince a child that their parents don’t care, then you own them,” says J. Michael Bone, a mental health counselor in Winter Park, Fla.

Bone has counseled scores of victims of a phenomenon known as “Parental Alienation Syndrome,” in which one parent accuses the other of brainwashing their child and turning him or her against the parent. Parental alienation is a controversial legal theory. Some say it’s just a smoke screen for abusive or negligent parents who deserve to be hated by their children. But practitioners say that in extreme cases, parents can implant false memories of abuse or otherwise stir a child into a permanent and completely irrational rage against the targeted parent.

From the Magazine | Behavior The Kidnapper’s Trick An Austrian girl escapes her captor, but the lies he told about her parents may be harder to outrun By NATHAN THORNBURGH SUBSCRIBE TO TIMEPRINTE-MAILMORE BY AUTHOR Posted Thursday, Sep. 14, 2006 Around the globe, millions have followed the story of Natascha Kampusch, the girl who was kidnapped at age 10 and held prisoner for eight years in a windowless basement near Vienna, Austria. They have clicked through snapshots of her dungeon posted on the Internet, speculated in chat rooms about why she had never been discovered, and marveled at her eloquence in her first television interview last week.

But in the U.S., one group is intently focused not on the physical layout of Kampusch’s captivity but on the mental landscape of a girl who grew up thinking her parents had abandoned her–counselors who work with children of divorced couples. Long-term abductions by strangers are thankfully rare, but psychologists say the trauma of Kampusch, 18, who was told for years that her parents had simply forgotten about her, echoes the fallout from the more common nightmare of a custody dispute in which a child is irrevocably poisoned against one parent. However composed she appears now, they warn, Kampusch has a long, treacherous road to recovering her relationship with her parents.

Convincing children that their parents don’t love them is a brutally effective way to secure children’s allegiance. Steven Stayner was kidnapped in Merced, Calif., in 1972, at age 7. For seven years, he lived with his abductor as a son, going to a public high school, often left alone but never escaping. According to Sharon Carr Griffin, a friend of Stayner’s who is writing a book about his life, Stayner’s kidnapper told him that his dad had died and his mother had signed custody of Stayner over to the kidnapper. “If you can convince a child that their parents don’t care, then you own them,” says J. Michael Bone, a mental health counselor in Winter Park, Fla. Bone has counseled scores of victims of a phenomenon known as “parental alienation syndrome,” in which one parent accuses the other of brainwashing their child and turning him or her against the parent. Parental alienation is a controversial legal theory.

Some say it’s just a smoke screen for abusive or negligent parents who deserve to be hated by their children. But practitioners say that in extreme cases, parents can implant false memories of abuse or otherwise stir a child into a permanent and completely irrational rage against the targeted parent. Increasingly, family courts are ordering a treatment called reconciliation therapy. One technique is to have the child look through an album of photos of the alienated parent to humanize that person again. Another is to show studies about how easily the mind is tricked, to let children know it’s not their fault that they have come to believe falsehoods about their parent. But those first steps toward rebuilding the parent-child relationship can be wobbly.

That is why counselors are saluting the caution being shown in Natascha Kampusch’s case. At first blush, it seems counterintuitive: after eight years of wrenching separation, she hasn’t returned home to either of her parents (who divorced before the abduction). Instead, she has been living at Vienna General Hospital, where she is likely to stay for at least another month in the care of a cadre of social workers and psychologists. She has arranged brief, if frequent, visits with her mother but in the first week saw her father only once.

In fact, an odd custody battle for Kampusch’s allegiance appears to be playing out publicly between her father and the memory of her captor, who threw himself under a train hours after Kampusch escaped. Christoph Feurstein, the journalist who conducted her television interview, says Kampusch is angry at her father for speaking on her behalf to the media; he told an interviewer that she would celebrate her captor’s death. Kampusch, in fact, visited the morgue and saw her abductor before he was buried, and told the world she mourned his death.

When Stayner escaped 26 years ago, there was little idea that such ambivalent feelings could exist in a child. He was immediately returned to his childhood home, but by many accounts struggled to fit back in. Nine years later, he died in a motor- cycle crash.

Kampusch says she was fighting with her mother on the day she was abducted. “My mother always used to say that we should never part ways angry,” she said during her television interview, “because something could happen to her or me and we’d never see each other again.” But in the aftermath of such cruel captivity, seeing each other again comes with its own challenges.

The original article can be found here: http://www.jmichaelbone.com/jmb_site_files/jmb_site_files/jmb_site_files/page24.html

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The Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome (Part I) by Deirde Rand, Piece 2

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Support, child trafficking, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Feminism, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Marriage, 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, Sociopath on September 28, 2009 at 3:00 pm

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY, VOLUME 15, NUMBER 3, 1997

THE SPECTRUM OF PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME (PART I) (cont.)
Forensic Psychologist, Deirdre Conway Rand, PhD

In another case, failed separation between mother and daughter, age 4 at the time of the marital break up, was shown to contribute to an escalating pattern of the girl rejecting her father. The onset of PAS in a given family was found to occur before the parents separated, during the actual divorce proceedings, or years after the divorce decree. Dunne and Hedrick describe a two-and-a-half year-old girl whose parents were disputing custody where there had been a long series of allegations by the mother since the early months of her pregnancy. Some of the teens in this sample had enjoyed a lengthy and positive post-divorce relationship with a parent prior to rejecting that parent as part of a PAS scenario.

Lund

Psychologist Mary Lund examined factors in addition to parental programming which can contribute to estrangement between the child and a rejected parent (19). She wrote that the methods Gardner advocates, such as court orders for continued contact, fit many cases and may help prevent the child developing the kind of phobic-like reaction to the rejected parent which can occur when contact is discontinued during long, drawn out legal proceedings. Such legal interventions often form the cornerstone for treatment. In treating these families, Lund integrates Gardner’s work with that of Janet Johnston. She assesses the family in terms of developmental factors in the child which may be contributing, such as normal separation problems among preschoolers and oppositional behavior during preadolescence and adolescence. Deficits in the noncustodial parent’s parenting may also contribute to the problem. In her experience, the hated parent, usually the father, often has a distant, rigid, even authoritarian style which contrasts with the indulgent, clinging style of the loved parent, who may also need help with appropriate parenting. These are risky generalizations, however. In the experience of this author and others, alienating and target parents exhibit a wide variety of personality patterns which do not lend themselves to this type of generalization. In addition, where the father is the alienating parent, it is sometimes he who uses an overindulgent and materially lavish parenting style to overwhelm and override the children’s healthier psychological bond with the mother.

According to Lund, PAS may also develop when the stress for the child of ongoing high conflict divorce becomes too much and the child seeks to “escape” being caught in the middle by aligning with one parent. Therapists, especially individual child therapists, can unwittingly become part of the system maintaining the PAS, such that a court order is required to break up the therapist’s polarizing influence. Ultimately, a combination of strategic legal and therapeutic interventions are required to mitigate the PAS and keep the case manageable.

Cartwright

A Canadian psychologist, Cartwright makes eight points about PAS:

1) PAS can be provoked by conflicts other than custody matters, e.g., child support and relatively trivial differences;

2) alienation is a gradual and consistent process that is directly related to the time spent alienating;

3) time is on the side of the alienating parent, who may engage in a host of delay tactics;

4) slow judgments by courts exacerbate the problem;

5) alienating parents sometimes use the hint of sexual abuse to discredit the other parent, what Cartwright calls “virtual” allegations of sexual abuse;

6) judgments by the court which are clear and forceful are required to counter the force of alienation;

7) children subject to excessive alienation may develop mental illness and

8) successful parental alienation has profound, long term consequences for the child and other family members which are only beginning to be appreciated (24).

As an example of “virtual” allegations abuse, Cartwright describes a mother who insinuated sexual abuse by the father by alleging that he had shown the child a pornographic videotape which in fact was just a Hollywood comedy rented from a family video store. Regarding risk to the child of developing mental illness, Cartwright gives the example of disintegrating behavior by an alienated son, presumably latency age, who tried to poison his father by slipping air freshener into his stomach medicine. Later, the boy ran away during a visit with the father and the police had to be called. The folie a deux literature includes a report in 1977 of a 10-year-old boy who allegedly attempted to burn down his father’s house two years after his parents divorced, apparently as a result of his folie a deux relationship with his disturbed mother (25). Such cases suggest that severe PAS can be indicative of significant emotional disturbance in the alienating parent with a proportionately disturbing effect on the child.

Cartwright poignantly describes the psychological effects on the child of being involved in severe PAS. “The child…experiences a great loss, the magnitude of which is akin to death of a parent, two grandparents, and all the lost parent’s relatives and friends…Moreover…the child is unable to acknowledge the loss, much less mourn it” (24). The child’s good memories of the alienated parent are systematically destroyed and the child misses out on the day-to-day interaction, learning, support and love which, in an intact family, usually flows between the child and both parents, as well as grandparents and other relatives on both sides.

The child may encounter insurmountable obstacles if, later in life, he or she seeks to reestablish relations with the lost parent and his family. The lost parent may be unable or unwilling to become reinvolved. The parent or grandparents may have died. Some of these children eventually turn against the alienating parent, and if the target parent is lost to them as well, the child is left with an unfillable void.

PARENTS WHO INDUCE ALIENATION

Gender

Gardner’s observation that mothers seem to engage in PAS behavior with significantly greater frequency than fathers is born out by divorce research, as well as by the clinical PAS literature. The California Children of Divorce Study found that in a nonclinical sample, mothers were twice as likely as fathers to form PAS type alignments with their children (2). When false allegations of abuse arise, as in more severe manifestations of PAS, mothers also seem to comprise the majority (3, 2628). Mothers constituted 67 percent of the accusers in the nationwide study which revealed that allegations of abuse in divorce/custody disputes were found to be invalid about 50 percent of the time (12). Fathers were the accusers in 22 percent of cases while third parties such as relatives and professionals were the adult initiators 11 percent of the time. Where a third party was the initiator of the allegation, a parent might also believe there was abuse. The numbers reverse when it comes to physically abducting the child, with fathers the abductors from 60 percent to 70 percent of the time (18). There may be gender differences in how men and women go about gaining control of their children and taking revenge on an ex-spouse, with men more inclined to physical kidnapping and women more inclined to social/psychological abduction, which is how Clawar and Rivlin characterized severe PAS (7).

Never Married

Parents may engage in PAS behavior even if they were never married. In Johnston’s study of children who refuse visitation, she found that from 6 percent to 15 percent of the high conflict parents she studied were not married (9). In the author’s experience, one of the contributing factors to PAS with some of these couples is the mother’s anger and resentment over the father’s refusal to marry her, an effect which is exacerbated if the father becomes involved with a new partner. A mother in this position may have particularly strong proprietary feelings, similar to what Clawar and Rivlin describe (7), infuriated by the unfairness of joint custody laws which grant the father rights to a relationship with his child without his having fulfilled his obligations with respect to the mother.

New Partners

Johnston found that the new partner of either parent could be the primary instigator of efforts to gain custody of the child (8). Something similar happens when a divorcing parent joins a cult which actively strives to get the child from the noncult member parent, with the cult fulfilling the role of new partner in a sense, as shown in one of the case vignettes to follow.

Narcissistic Vulnerability

Johnston found that to varying degrees, one or both of the parents in high conflict divorce may be narcissistically vulnerable, lacking a well-established self identify and relying on primitive defenses such as externalization, denial and projection (8). The need of one or both parents to protect and defend themselves against narcissistic injury is at the root of many high conflict divorces. This may be a motivating factor for PAS in some cases, a dynamic described by Wilhelm Reich almost 50 years ago (29) when he foretold how parents of certain character types would seek to defend themselves against narcissistic injury in divorce by fighting for the child, using the technique of defaming the partner in order to alienate the child from that parent.

Need to Conceal Parental Deficits

According to Clawar and Rivlin, the campaign to alienate the child from the other parent is sometimes used to deflect unwanted scrutiny of the programming parent’s personal problems, for example alcohol, drugs, neglectful parenting, physical and sexual abuse, criminal involvement, or socially unaccepted life-style (7). Sometimes parents engage in PAS behavior out of fear that they will be found wanting when compared to the more loving and capable target. The literature on false allegations in divorce/custody disputes often makes the point that the accusation helps the accuser level the playing field, so to speak.

Vulnerability to Separation and Loss

A factor in some high conflict divorces is the presence in one or both parents of specific underlying vulnerabilities to loss and conflicts around attachment and separation (8). A PAS scenario can develop when a troubled parent who was rejected in the divorce copes with loss and loneliness by turning to the child to fullfill emotional needs, resulting in what Wallerstein calls the “overburdened child ” , discussed in Part II. For some parents, the divorce reactivates separation issues from earlier losses such as previous divorce, kidnapping or death of a child, or the loss of other family members. Such a parent may engage in PAS to defend against further “loss,” that of having to share the child with the other parent. Some parents have long standing personality problems with separation and individuation. The ongoing conflicts over the child engendered by PAS help ward off feelings of loss and abandonment by maintaining the relationship with the ex-spouse. PAS can also be used by keep the other parent hostilily engaged, as in Medea Syndrome (4, 5) and Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome (6, 30).

Revenge Clawar and Rivlin found that revenge was one of the most common and powerful reasons for parents to engage in alienating behavior (7). The personality makeup of some parents is such that revenge seems like their only viable option in response to feeling wounded by the divorce. The desire for revenge can be further kindled if infidelity is discovered, the alienating parent is left for someone else, or finds themselves immediately replaced by a new love object in the life of the parent who left.

Need for Control and Domination

Some alienating parents are driven by overriding needs for power, influence, domination and control (7). Engaging in PAS may provide the dual gratification of maintaining power, influence and control over the child and vicariously over the ex-spouse whose visitation and relationship with the child is frustrated by the alienating parent’s control maneuvers. Needs for domination and control are sometimes acted out by abducting the child and using it to taunt and torment the frantic target parent. In addition to mothers and fathers, a new partner can be the one with inordinate needs for power, domination and control. For example, a mother may become involved with a new partner who first seduces her away from her relatively weak husband and then acts as a sort of one-on-one cult leader to mother and child, who are both programmed and brainwashed into compliance and submission.

Medea Syndrome

The need for revenge is taken to an extreme in Media Syndrome (4, 5). “Modern Medeas do not want to kill their children, but they do want revenge on their former wives or husbands-and they exact it by destroying the relationship between the other parent and the child…The Medea syndrome has its beginnings in the failing marriage and separation, when parents sometimes lose sight of the fact that their children have separate needs [and] begin to think of the child as being an extension of the self…A child may be used as an agent of revenge against the other parent…or the anger can lead to child stealing” (5). The “embittered- chaotic” parents described earlier by Wallerstein and Kelly may also fall in the revenge category (2). These parents act out their intense anger in a disorganized but chronically disruptive way which bombards the children, rather than protecting them, with the raw bitterness and chaos of the angry parent’s feelings about the ex-spouse and the divorce.

Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome

Turkat would have done better to call this disorder “Malicious Parent Syndrome,” but be that as it may, this disorder describes a special class of alienating parents who engage in a relentless and multifaceted campaign of aggression and deception against the ex-spouse, who is being punished for the divorce (6, 30). Contrary to Turkat, the author has encountered several cases in which the father was the malicious parent, as illustrated in the case vignette at the end of this section. Discussing PAS by name, Turkat classified PAS as a moderate form of visitation interference as compared with Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome. The parent with the latter disorder uses an array of tactics including excessive litigation, alienating the child from the target parent, and involving the child and third parties in malicious actions against the ex-spouse. Lying and deception are routinely used. A malicious parent might arrange to have the ex-spouse investigated for use of illegal drugs at work or file a complaint with authorities against the ex-spouse’s new partner. Malicious parents are often successful in using the law to punish and harass the ex-spouse, sometimes violating the law themselves but often getting away with it. Their efforts to interfere with the target parent’s visitation are persistent and pervasive, including attempts to block the target parent from having regular, uninterrupted visitation with the child and from having telephone contact, as well as trying to block the target parent from participating in the child’s school life and activities.

Mr. C’s suspiciousness and verbal attacks on his wife finally drove her to file for divorce. As on previous occasions, Mr. C. threatened that if she would not reconcile he would win custody of their four-year-old daughter and make sure the mother never saw her again. In the past, Mrs. C. had relented, fearful that Mr. C. would fulfill his threats, but this time she stood firm. Mr. C. filed for sole custody based on false allegations that the mother was unfit. When these allegations were not upheld, the father made up new ones. Within a year of filing, Mrs. C. became engaged to another man. Mr. C. succeeded in breaking up the engagement by accusing the fiance of sexually abusing the child. He had the police arrest the fiance at the mother’s home. When child protective services informed the mother that they would take her daughter away for failure to protect, the mother canceled her engagement, terrified that Mr. C. would make good on his threat to take her daughter away. When police and child protection investigation of the sex abuse allegations resulted in a finding that no abuse occurred, Mrs. C. proceeded with her wedding plans. Father raised allegations of sex abuse against Mrs. C.’s new husband in family court and succeeded at one point in gaining temporary custody. Primary custody was returned to the mother after the court ordered evaluation found the allegations to be without merit and the father to be emotionally disturbed and pressuring the child to report abuse. During his visitation time, the father and a male friend continued to interrogate the girl about abuse by the stepfather and as time went by she felt increasingly pressured to meet their expectations. Away from the father’s influence, however, the girl enjoyed her family with her mother and stepfather. She stated to several different therapists that she had only accused her stepfather of molesting her to please her father and his friend.

In the meantime, Mr. C. and friend continued to make abuse reports against the stepfather, creating significant distress for Mrs. C., her new husband and the child. Eventually, when the girl was 10, the father succeeded in getting the juvenile court to take jurisdiction and give him custody, although medical examination of the child did not support the increasingly serious accusations. Mrs. C. was not allowed to see her daughter. When she tried to contact the therapist who was now seeing the girl for sex abuse by Mrs. C.’s new husband, the therapist was rude and a refused to speak with her. The mother was tortured by reports from a series of child protection workers which indicated that her daughter was acting out in bizarre and often self-destructive ways. At the age of twelve, she was picked up by the police for prostitution and had to be psychiatrically hospitalized. Several professionals who were involved when the mother had custody wondered if Mr. C. was deliberately destroying his daughter so as to get revenge against the mother. Mr. C. was able to retain custody, however, by focusing the attention of authorities on allegations of sex abuse against the stepfather.

Long before Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome was identified by Turkat, a male psychologist, whose ex-wife undoubtedly exhibited the disorder, wrote a book about his ordeal (31). Accusing him of sexually abusing their young daughter, the mother arranged for the police to arrest him at his office in front of his clients and staff. She also arranged for newspaper reporters to be present so that pictures of the shocked psychologist being handcuffed and hauled off to jail were widely broadcast. The father fought back and eventually obtained joint custody after the court found that mother’s extreme efforts to sever the father’s relationship with his child were detrimental and stripped her of sole custody.

Personality Characteristics of Parents Making False Accusations of Sexual Abuse in Disputes

Wakefield and Underwager undertook a systematic review of divorce/custody case files to examine and compare the characteristics of 72 false accusers, 103 falsely accused parents and a control group of 67 parents disputing custody but without allegations of abuse (28). Criteria for determining whether a parent had falsely accused included a finding by the justice system that there had been no abuse. Of the three groups, the falsely accusing parents were much more likely to have been diagnosed by a professional as exhibiting a personality disorder including mixed, unspecified, histrionic, borderline, passive-aggressive or paranoid. Approximately one-fourth of the false accusers did not exhibit significant pathology, while most of the parents who were disputing custody without abuse allegations were assessed as normal. Some of the false accusers were so obsessed with anger toward their estranged spouses that this became a major focus of their lives. They continued to be obsessed with abuse despite negative findings by mental health professionals and the courts, similar to what is found in cases of delusional disorder and Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. The relationship of falsely accusing parents with their children was often characterized in the record as extremely controlling and symbiotic. Two were Qiven a formal diagnosis of folie a deux between parent and child. Several exhibited extremely serious dysfunction, such as unpredictable bizarre behavior, belief that they possessed supernatural powers and delusions of grandeur. These authors found more similarities than differences between mothers and fathers who falsely accused, with mothers very much in the majority.

SAID Syndome

Blush and Ross have come up with three psychological profiles for mother false accusers and a typical profile of father accusers (3, 26, 27). Mothers tend to present as “fearful victim,” “justified vindicator,” or to some degree psychotic. The “fearful victim” presentation involves manipulation of social image around a specific theme to which others respond with sympathy and support, such as child abuse or spousal abuse. The “justified vindicators” initially present as intellectually organized with a knowledgeable, even pseudo-scientific sounding agenda, similar to what Clawar and Rivlin report regarding self righteousness as an important motivation of some programming parents. Women in the third group present with a combination of borderline and histrionic features, which interact with the stress of the divorce to impair the mother’s reality testing and significantly interfere with her functioning, sometimes to the point of a psychotic or quasi-psychotic presentation. Similar to Wakefield and Underwager’s findings (28), mothers in all three categories tend to be histrionic in presentation, so emotionally convinced of the “facts” that no amount of input, including from neutral professionals, can dissuade them from their perceptions. According to Blush and Ross, the typical profile for father accusers is one of intellectual rigidity and a high need to be “correct,” possibly male counterparts of the “justified vindicator” presentation among mothers. By history, these men were hypercritical of their wives while the marriage was still intact, quick to suspect them of negligence and to accuse their wives of being unfit mothers. Gardner’s work is referenced in the second and third SAID syndrome articles by these authors (26, 27).

Accuser and Accused Dyads

Important information about a programming parent using false allegations of abuse is to be found in the particular choice of accused. The study reported by Thoennes and Tjaden showed that the battle goes beyond simply mothers against fathers and vice versa (12). Parents were found to accuse not only each other but the other’s new partner, or relatives such as grandparents or the new partner’s teenage son. A parent who accuses the ex-spouse’s new partner may fulfill a number of goals simultaneously, expressing feelings of jealousy, revenge, and trying to keep the child from forming a positive attachment with the new parent figure. Accusations against the target parent’s relatives may provide a combination of revenge, allegations that are difficult for the ex-spouse to defend since they are not directly against him or her, and a means to exclude the relatives from post-divorce involvement in the child’s life. The accuser can set up a devastating conflict for the target parent by accusing his teenage son from a previous marriage or the new partner’s teenage offspring from a previous union. This has the effect of forcing the target parent to “choose” between his child involved in making the allegation and another child whom he loves and is responsible for. This enhances the alienating parent’s ability to convince the child that daddy does not care.

The Delusional Parent

Rogers refers to PAS in her report on five divorce/custody cases in which the falsely accusing parent, all mothers in this sample, suffered from delusional disorder (32). The children were subjected to undue influence to get them to accept the accusing parent’s psychotic belief and concomitant rejection of the other parent in a severe PAS scenario. Where the child succumbed, a diagnosis of shared paranoid disorder, otherwise known as folie a deux might also be made. According to Rogers, the first stages of the mother’s delusional disorder were present to some degree during the marriage and exacerbated parental conflicts prior to the separation. However, these subtle signs were not immediately discernible as a psychiatric illness and were only recognized in retrospect, as the mother’s symptoms became worse in the course of the divorce and its attendant disputes. One of the severe PAS cases reported by Dunne and Hedrick appears to be an example of the mother developing delusional disorder. The “subtle signs” were expressed as suspicions during her pregnancy that the father would molest the child, similar to a case encountered by the present author in which suspicions harbored by the mother even before the child was born prompted her to abduct the child a few months later. According to Rogers, the mothers who became delusional were usually the main caretakers for the children. In two cases they were awarded custody during the first round of custody litigation, before more noticeable deterioration in their parenting capabilities had occurred. With continued custody litigation, the intractable nature of their mental illness became apparent and the court gave custody to the father in four of the five cases.

Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy

Some cases of PAS, especially those with false allegations of abuse, may have important features in common with Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy (MSP) in which parents fulfill their needs vicariously by presenting their child as ill (23). In cases of “classical” MSP, parents repeatedly take their children to doctors for unnecessary, often painful tests and treatments which the physician is induced to provide based on the parent’s misrepresentations. “Contemporary-type” MSP occurs when a parent fabricates an abuse scenario for the child and welcomes or actively seeks out repeated abuse interviews of the child by police, social workers and therapists (23). The concept of contemporary-type MSP elaborates on the idea put forth by Sinanan and Houghton that new types of MSP behavior will evolve in parallel with the evolution of new medical and social services, e.g., the child protection system (33). MSP parents may change or come up with new “symptoms” for the child so as to better elicit the desired response from a particular care provider or an institution offering specialized services. Thus, the same child may be receiving attention simultaneously for fabricated physical symptoms from several medical providers and for fabricated sex abuse from therapists and public agencies who specialize in abuse. Careful evaluation and thorough investigation of sex abuse allegations which turn out to be questionable or false will sometimes bring a parent to the attention of authorities for practicing “classical” as well as “contemporary- type” MSP (34).

As with PAS, MSP is most often practiced by mothers, although fathers and other caretakers are sometimes found to engage in the behavior. MSP parents maintain their psychic equilibrium through control and manipulation of external sources of social gratification, including the child and care providers who serve children. Medical and other care providers are sometimes referred to as the “third party participants” in the MSP, because of their importance in carrying out the parent’s agenda, including false allegations of abuse. There are at least four different presentations where MSP and PAS overlap: 1) an MSP mother may, during the marriage, add false allegations of abuse to the child’s fabricated physical symptoms, thus precipitating the divorce; 2) where the MSP parent feels angry or rejected in divorce, manipulating the child’s medical care and involving the child in false allegations of abuse may serve multiple functions including revenge, maintaining the symbiotic bond with the child and preserving the freedom to continue the MSP behavior; 3) a parent dealing with the losses and stress of divorce may respond with MSP type behavior to obtain social support from the child and care providers; 4) an alienating parent may exhibit MSP type behavior by manipulating the child’s medical care for the primary purpose of furthering the alienation agenda (35).

In PAS with features of MSP, the alienating parent may gain legal authority to control and determine whom the child sees and what treatment is given. The child may be taken to the doctor after visits with the target parent for fabricated or induced symptoms which are attributed to abuse and neglect by the other parent. The child is likely present while the alienating parent makes this negative presentation about the other parent to the doctor, who inadvertently lends support to the denigrating account by listening to it, asking questions and examining the child. The target parent may be rendered ineffective to stop this cycle because providers retained by the alienating parent, and who take her assertions at face value, often refuse to talk to the target parent or allow the target parent access to child’s medical records. The result for the child is what Rand calls MSP type abuse. Rand expands Meadow’s formulation of MSP as a complex form of emotional abuse by applying Garbarino’s five types of psychological maltreatment. Research on MSP shows that it sometimes overlaps with other forms of abuse and neglect (36).

Parental Child Abductors

According to Huntington, post-divorce parental child stealing has been on the increase since the mid-1970s, paralleling the rising divorce rate and the explosion of litigation over child custody (18). An abducting parent views the child’s needs as secondary to the parental agenda which is to provoke, agitate, control, attack or psychologically torture the other parent. It should come as no surprise, then, that post-divorce parental abduction is considered a serious form of child abuse. Psychological maltreatment may predominate or be accompanied by physical abuse and neglect. Abducting parents take the idea that the child would be better off without the other parent to an extreme. Clawar and Rivlin found that would-be abductors often felt frustrated in their efforts to gain access to their child through the legal system and felt “forced” to abduct the child (7). Sometimes, they became so convinced of the terrible scenario they were broadcasting about the target parent that they felt no “choice” but to flee with the child and go into hiding. In order to win the child’s cooperation in maintaining concealment, the abductor must continue to brainwash the child with fear of the target parent and what would happen if the target parent should find the abducting parent and child.

CONCLUSION TO PART I

Review of this first portion of relevant literature and research indicates that Gardner’s concept of PAS has been increasingly discussed and referred to since he introduced the term in 1985. Research on divorce since the early 1980s has been progressively converging with Gardner’s work. Johnston’s studies of high conflict divorce in particular suggest that it is not sufficient to lump PAS with high conflict divorce in general. In its more severe forms, PAS is clearly distinctive. It is also more destructive for children and families and can be irreversible in its effects. As the section on alienating parents indicates, the divorce population includes a significant proportion of parents who have’ psychological problems and disorders. The degree to which such problems are expressed in efforts to alienate the child from the other parent has to be evaluated in the total divorce context, including psychological factors of the child and character and conduct of the target parent. Severe PAS is destructive irrespective of the gender of the alienating parent.

Part I attempts to integrate Gardner’s work on PAS with the relevant literature and research under the following topic headings: The Child in PAS; The Target/Alienated Parent in PAS; PAS and its Third Party Participants; Attorneys on PAS; Forensic Evaluation and PAS; and Interventions for PAS, including strategic combinations of court orders and therapeutic interventions, appointment of a Special Master, appointment of a Guardian ad Litem, changing custody, use of hospitalization and other transitional sites to facilitate custody changes, and the appropriate application of sanctions to help certain programming parents to better act in their children’s best interests.

Whether or not one chooses to use Gardner’s terminology, the problems posed by these cases to families, professionals and the courts are very real. Reluctance to consider Parental Alienation Syndrome by name, along with the diagnostic and interventions it entails, tends to contribute to the perpetuation of the problem in a variety of ways. Like any other label, that of PAS has the potential to be misapplied and misused. Whether or not it is the appropriate diagnosis in a given instance must be determined based on facts of the case, corroborated historical evidence and data from multiple sources. An appropriate diagnosis of PAS, including level of severity as Gardner recommends, can make the difference between allowing a case to go beyond the point of no return or intervening effectively before it is too late.

REFERENCES

1. Gardner R: Recent trends in divorce and custody litigation. Academy Forum 1985; 29:2:3-7

2. Wallerstein JS, Kelly JB: Surviving the breakup: how children and parents cope with divorce. New York, Basic Books, 1980

3. Blush GJ, Ross KL: Sexual allegations in divorce: the SAID syndrome. Conciliation Courts Review 1987; 25:1:1-11

4. Jacobs JW: Euripides’ Medea: a psychodynamic model of severe divorce pathology. American Journal of Psychotherapy 1988; XLII:2:308-319

5. Wallerstein JS, Blakeslee S: Second Chances. New York, Ticknor & Fields, 1989;

6. Turkat ID: Child visitation interference in divorce. Clinical Psychology Review 1994; 14:8:737-742

7. Clawar SS, Rivlin BV: Children Held Hostage: Dealing with Programmed and Brainwashed Children. Chicago, American Bar Association, 1991

8. Johnston JR, Campbell LE: Impasses of Divorce: The Dynamics and Resolution of Family Conflict. New York, The Free Press, 1988

9. Johnston JR: Children of divorce who refuse visitation, in Nonresidential Parenting: New Vistas in Family Living. Edited by Depner CE, Bray JH, London, Sage Publications, 1993

10. National Center on Child Abuse and Neglect: executive summary: study of national incidence and prevalence of child abuse and neglect. Washington DC: Department of Health and Human Services 1988, Contract 105-85-1702

11. Stewart JW: The molestation charge. California Family Law Monthly 1991; 7:9:329-335

12. Thoennes N, Tjaden PG: The extent, nature, and validity of sexual abuse allegations in custody visitation disputes. Child Abuse & Neglect 1990; 12:151-63

13. National Council on Children’s Rights: CAPTA revised to provide relief for false allegations. Speak Out for Children, Fall 1996/Winter 1997

14. State of California: The California Child Abuse Neglect Reporting Law: Issues and Answers for Health Practitioners, 1991

15. Gardner RA: The Parental Alienation Syndrome and the Differentiation Between Fabricated and Genuine Child Sex Abuse. Cresskill, NJ, Creative Therapeutics, 1987

16. Gardner RA: The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Guide for Mental Health and Legal Professionals. Cresskill, NJ, Creative Therapeutics, 1992

17. Gardner RA: Family Evaluation in Child Custody Mediation, Arbitration, and Litigation. Cresskill, NJ, Creative Therapeutics, 1989

18. Huntington DS: The forgotten figures in divorce, in Divorce and Fatherhood: The Struggle for Parental Identity. Edited by Jacobs JW, Washington DC, American Psychiatric Association Press, 1986

19. Lund M: A therapist’s view of parental alienation syndrome. Family and Conciliation Courts Review 1995; 33:3:308-316

20. Maccoby EE, Mnookin RH: Dividing the Child: Social and Legal Dilemmas of Custody. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press, 1992

21. Garrity CB, Baris MA: Caught in the Middle: Protecting the Children of High-Conflict Divorce. New York, Lexington Books, 1994

22. Dunne J, Hedrick M: The parental alienation syndrome: an analysis of sixteen selected cases. Journal of Divorce and Remarriage 1994; 21:3/4:21-38

23. Rand DC: Munchausen syndrome by proxy: a complex type of emotional abuse responsible for some false allegations of child abuse in divorce. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations 1993; 5:3:135-155

24. Cartwright GF: Expanding the parameters of parental alienation syndrome. American Journal of Family Therapy 1993; 21:3:205-215

25. Tucker LS, Cornwall TP: Mother-son folie a deux: a case of attempted patricide. American Journal of Psychiatry 1977; 134:10:1146-1 147

26. Ross KL, Blush GJ: Sexual abuse validity discriminators in the divorced or divorcing family. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations 1990; 2:1:1-6

27. Blush GJ, Ross KL: Investigation and case managementissues and strategies. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations 1990; 2:3:152-160

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28. Wakefield H, Underwager R: Personality characteristics of parents making false accusations of sexual abuse in custody disputes. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations 1990; 2:3:121-136

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28. Wakefield H, Underwager R: Personality characteristics of parents making false accusations of sexual abuse in custody disputes. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations 1990; 2:3:121-136

29. Reich W: Character Analysis. New York, WR Farrar, Straus and Giroux/Noonday Press, 1949

30. Turkat ID: Divorce related malicious mother syndrome. Journal of Family Violence 1995; 10:3:253-264

31. Spiegel LD: A Question of Innocence. Parsippany, NJ, Unicorn Publishing House, 1986

32. Rogers M: Delusional disorder and the evolution of mistaken sexual allega lions in child custody cases. American Journal of Forensic Psychology 1992; 10:1:47-69

33. Sinanan K, Houghton H: Evolution of variants of the Munchausen syndrome. British Journal of Psychiatry 1986; 148:465-467

34. Meadow R: False allegations of abuse and Munchausen syndrome by proxy. Archives of Disease in Childhood 1993; 68:4:444-4.47

35. Jones M, Lund M, Sullivan M: Dealing with parental alienation in high conflict custody cases, presentation at conference of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, San Antonio, TX, 1996

36. Bools CN, Neale BA, Meadow SR: Co-morbidity associated with fabricated illness (Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy). Archives of Disease in Childhood 1992; 67:77-79

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Deirdre Conway Rand, Ph.D. practices clinical and forensic psychology in Mill Valley, California. She specializes in complex forms of emotional abuse, such as severe Parental Alienation and Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy. She is the author of articles on the latter and of two chapters in the book, Spectrum of Factitious Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association.

Back to Part 1

The Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome (Part I) by Deirde Rand, Piece 2.

The Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome (Part I) by Deirde Rand, Piece 1

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on September 28, 2009 at 3:00 am

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC PSYCHOLOGY, VOLUME 15, NUMBER 3, 1997

THE SPECTRUM OF PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME (PART I)
Forensic Psychologist, Deirdre Conway Rand, PhD

The Parental Alienation Syndrome, so named by Dr. Richard Gardner, is a distinctive family response to divorce in which the child becomes aligned with one parent and preoccupied with unjustified and/or exaggerated denigration of the other target parent. In severe cases, the child’s once love-bonded relationship with relected/target parent is destroyed. Testimony on Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) in legal proceedings has sparked debate. This two-part article seeks to shed light on the debate by reviewing Gardner’s work and that of others on PAS, integrating the concept of PAS with research on high conflict divorce and other related literature. The material is organized under topic headings such as parents who induce alienation, the child in PAS, the target/alienated parent. attorneys on PAS, and evaluation and intervention. Part II begins with the child in PAS. Case vignettes of moderate to severe PAS are presented in both parts, some of which illustrate the consequences for children and families when the system is successfully manipulated by the alienating parent, as well as some difficult but effective interventions implemented by the author, her husband Randy Rand, Ed.D., and other colleagues.

Dr. Richard Gardner was an experienced child and forensic psychiatrist conducting evaluations when, in 1985, he introduced the concept of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) in an article entitled “Recent Trends in Divorce and Custody Litigation” (1). His work with children and families during the 1970s led him to write such books as Boys and Girls Book of Divorce, The Parents Book About Divorce and Psychotherapy with Children of Divorce. He knew from experience that the norm for children of divorce was to continue to love and long for both parents, in spite of the divorce and the passage of years, a finding replicated by one of the first large scale studies of divorce (2). With this background, Gardner became concerned in the early 1980s about the increasing number of divorce children he was seeing who, especially in the course of custody evaluations, presented as preoccupied with denigrating one parent, sometimes to the point of expressing hatred toward a once loved parent. He used the term Parental Alienation Syndrome to refer to the child’s symptoms of denigrating and rejecting a previously loved parent in the context of divorce.

Gardner’s focus on PAS as a disturbance of children in divorce is unique, although from the mid-1980s on there has been a proliferation of professional literature on disturbing trends in divorce/custody disputes, including false allegations of abuse to influence the outcome. At least three other divorce syndromes have been identified. In 1986, two psychologists in Michigan, who were as yet unaware of Gardner’s work, published the first of several papers on the SAID syndrome, Blush and Ross’s acronym for sex abuse allegations in divorce (3). Drawing on their experience doing evaluations for the family court, and the experience of their colleagues at the clinic there, these authors delineated typologies for the falsely accusing parent, the child involved and the accused parent. Two of the divorce syndromes named in the literature focus on the rage and pathology of the alienating or falsely accusing parent. Jacobs in New York and Wallerstein in California published case reports of what they called Medea Syndrome (4, 5). Jacobs discussed Gardner’s work on PAS in his 1988 study of a Medea Syndrome mother, as did Turkat when he described Divorce Related Malicious Mother Syndrome in 1994 (6). Fathers, too, can be found with this disorder, as one of the case vignettes below indicates, but for some reason Turkat has not encountered any.

In addition to articles specifically on PAS and literature which refers to it, there is a body of divorce research and clinical writings which, without a name, describe the phenomenon. The literature reviewed here comes from a number of sources including: practitioners who like Gardner are seeking to improve the diagnostic skills and intervention strategies of the courts and other professionals who deal with high conflict divorce; attorneys and judges who come in contact with PAS cases; researchers like Clawar and Rivlin who reference Gardner’s work on PAS in their large scale study of parental programming in divorce (7) and Johnston whose work on high conflict divorce (8) led her to study the problem of children who refuse visitation, including a discussion of PAS (9). When PAS is viewed from the standpoint of parts and subprocesses which create the whole, the literature which pertains increases exponentially, for example: psychological characteristics of parents who falsely accuse in divorce/custody disputes; cults who help divorcing parents alienate their children from the other parent; and psychological abuse of children in severe PAS including Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy type abuse.

The trends identified by Gardner and others are the result of important social changes which began to take root and flower around the mid 1970s. The legal treatment of divorce and child custody shifted from the preference for mothers to have sole custody and the “tender years presumption” to the preference for joint custody and “best interests of the child.” This gave divorce fathers more legal options for parenting their children and increased the quantity and intensity of divorce disputes as parents vehemently disagreed over the numerous custodial arrangements now possible. By the late 1970s, rising concern about parental programming of children to influence the outcome of disputes led the American Bar Association Section of Family Law to commission a large scale study of the problem. The results of this 12 year study were published in 1991 in a book called Children Held Hostage (7). Clawar and Rivlin found that parental programming was practiced to varying degrees by 80 percent of divorcing parents, with 20 percent of engaging in such behaviors with their children at least once a day. Further discussion of this book appears below.

At the same time as new divorce trends have been emerging, sweeping social changes have been occurring in society’s treatment of child abuse. Mandated reporting became the law of the land in the 1970s and the procedures for making reports were simplified such that anonymous reports are now accepted and acted upon in some states. As the number of suspected abuse reports practically doubled, so did the number of false and unsubstantiated reports, according to statistics compiled by the National Center for Child Abuse and Neglect in 1988 which showed that non-valid reports outnumbered cases of bona fide abuse by a ratio of two to one ( 10).

According to some observers, false allegations of abuse in contested divorce/custody cases have become the ultimate weapon. Judge Stewart wrote that “Family Courts nationwide are feeling the effects of a new fad being used by parties to a custody dispute-the charge that the other parent is molesting the child…The impact of such an allegation on the custody litigation is swift and major…The Family Court judge is apt to cut off the accused’s access to the child pending completion of the investigation” (11, p. 329). In response to concerns such as these, the Research Unit of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts obtained funding for a study on sex abuse accusations in divorce/custody disputes (12). Data for 1985-1986 were gathered from family court sites across the country. At that time, the incidence of sex abuse allegations in divorce was found to average two percent, but varied from one percent to eight percent depending on the court site. Results of this study suggest that sex abuse allegations in divorce may be valid only about 50 percent of the time. Many of the court counselors and administrators interviewed believed they were seeing a greater proportion of such cases than in previous decades.

Ten years later in 1996, Congress amended the Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act to eliminate blanket immunity for persons who knowingly make false reports, based on information that 2,000,000 children were involved that year in non-valid reports, as opposed to 1,000,000 children who were genuinely abused (13). In addition, many states have already enacted laws against willfully making a false child abuse report. In California where the author and her husband practice, the Office of Child Abuse Prevention revised their manual for mandated reporters several years ago to include a section on false allegations in which the coaching of children during custody disputes is described as a major problem and Gardner’s work on PAS is referenced (14).

In the meantime, the 1980s saw a massive campaign to train social workers, police, judges and mental health professionals in such concepts as “children don’t lie about abuse.” To make up for society’s blind eye to child abuse in the past, professionals are encouraged to unquestioningly ” believe the child ” and to reflexively accept all allegations of child abuse as true. Widespread media attention and a proliferation of popular books and movies on child abuse continues to suggest that the problem is widespread and insidious. Parents and professionals alike are enjoined to be vigilant for what are touted as “behavioral indicators” of sex abuse. These include the common but vague symptom of poor self esteem, conflicting “indicators” such as aggressive behavior and social withdrawal, and child behaviors which may be developmentally normal such as sexual curiosity and nightmares. Little attention is paid to the fact that children may develop the same symptoms in response to other stressors, including divorce and father absence.

Children, too, are being sensitized to abuse, taught about “good touch/bad touch.” At the end of such a lesson in school, they may be asked to report anyone who they think may have touched them in a bad way. Although some instances of legitimate abuse are detected in this manner, children sometimes misunderstand the lesson such that a kindly grandfather going to scoop up his young grandson in his arms, as he had done many times before, may find the child pulling back from him in horror and accusing him of “bad touch.” Adults conducting these classes are sometimes so eager to find abuse that in one Southern state, the parents of over half the class were arrested.

The foregoing outline of recent social changes is not meant to imply that Parental Alienation Syndrome and false allegations of sex abuse in divorce are synonymous. PAS can occur with or without such abuse accusations. Although false allegations of sex abuse are a common spin-off of severe PAS, other derivative false allegations may include physical abuse, neglect, emotional abuse, or a fabricated history of spousal abuse. In addition, there seems to be an increase in PAS type cases of accusations by the alienating parent that it is the alienated parent who is practicing PAS, a tactic which tends to confuse and neutralize interveners.

PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME

According to Gardner, PAS is a disturbance in the child who, in the context of divorce, becomes preoccupied with deprecation and criticism of one parent, which denigration is either unjustified and/or exaggerated. Gardner sees PAS as arising primarily from a combination of parental influence and the child’s active contributions to the campaign of denigration, factors which may mutually reinforce one another. Gardner distinguishes between Parental Alienation Syndrome and the term “parental alienation.” There are a wide variety of causes for parental alienation, including bonafide parental abuse and/or neglect, as well as significant deficits in a rejected parent’s functioning which may not rise to the level of abuse. From Gardner’s perspective, a diagnosis of PAS only applies where abuse, neglect and other conduct by the alienated parent which would reasonably justify the alienation are relatively minimal. Thus Gardner conceives of PAS as a specialized subcategory of generic parental alienation. Since introducing the concept of PAS in 1985, Gardner has written two books on the subject (15, 16), and included a chapter on it in his book entitled Family Evaluation, in Child Custody Mediation, Arbitration and Litigation(17).

Depending on the severity of the PAS, a child may exhibit all or only some of the following behaviors. It is the cluster of these symptoms which prompted Gardner to consider them as a syndrome.

1) The child is aligned with the alienating parent in a campaign of denigration against the target parent, with the child making active contributions;

2) Rationalizations for deprecating the target parent are often weak, frivolous or absurd;

3) Animosity toward the rejected parent lacks the ambivalence normal to human relationships;

4) The child asserts that the decision to reject the target parent is his or her own, what Gardner calls the “independent thinker” phenomenon;

5) The child reflexively supports the parent with whom he or she is aligned;

6) The child expresses guiltless disregard for the feelings of the target or hated parent;

7) Borrowed scenarios are present, i.e., the child’s statements reflect themes and terminology of the alienating parent;

8) Animosity is spread to the extended family and others associated with the hated parent.

In Gardner’s experience, born out by the clinical and research literature reviewed below, mothers are more frequently found to engage in PAS, which is likened by Clawar and Rivlin to psychological kidnapping (7). Where PAS with physical child abduction occurs, however, Huntington reports that fathers are in the majority (18). Gardner recognizes that fathers, too, may engage in PAS and gives examples in his books. For consistency and simplicity, though, he refers to the alienating parent as “mother” and target parent as “father.”

According to Gardner, the brainwashing component in PAS can be more or less conscious on the part of the programming parent and may be systematic or subtle. The child’s active contributions to the campaign of denigration may help to create and maintain a mutually reinforcing feedback loop between the child and the programming parent. The child’s contributions notwithstanding, Gardner views the alienating parent as the responsible adult who elicits or transmits a negative set of beliefs about the target parent. The child’s loving experiences with the target parent in the past are replaced with a new reality, the negative scenario shared by the programming parent and child which justifies their rejection of the alienated parent. In light of these observations, Gardner warned that children’s statements in divorce/custody about rejecting one parent should not be taken at face value and should be evaluated for PAS dynamics. According to psychologist Mary Lund, this insight is one of Gardner’s most important contributions because it alerted the legal system, parents and mental health professionals dealing with divorce to an important possibility which can have disastrous effects if unrecognized (19).

Gardner emphasizes the importance of differentiating between mild, moderate and severe PAS in determining what court orders and therapeutic interventions to apply. In mild cases, there is some parental programming but visitation is not seriously effected and the child manages to negotiate the transitions without too much difficulty. The child has a reasonably healthy relationship with the programming parent and is usually participating in the campaign of denigration to maintain the primary emotional bond with the preferred parent, usually the mother. PAS in this category can usually be alleviated by the court’s affirming that the preferred or primary parent will retain primary custody.

In moderate PAS, there is a significant degree of parental programming, along with significant struggles around visitation. The child often displays difficulties around the transition between homes but is eventually able to settle down and become benevolently involved with the parent he or she is visiting. The bond between the aligned parent and child is still reasonably healthy, despite their shared conviction that the target parent is somehow despicable. At this level, stronger legal interventions are required and a court ordered PAS therapist is recommended who can monitor visits, make their office available as a visit exchange site, and report to the court regarding failures to implement visitation. The threat of sanctions against the alienating parent may be needed to gain compliance. Failure of the system to apply the appropriate level of court orders and therapeutic interventions in moderate PAS may put the child at risk for developing severe PAS. In some moderate cases, after court-ordered special therapy and sanctions have failed, Gardner states that it may be necessary to seriously consider transferring custody to the allegedly hated parent, assuming that parent is fit. In some situations, this is the only hope of protecting the child from progression to the severe category.

The child in severe PAS is fanatic in his or her hatred of the target parent. The child may refuse to visit, personally make false allegations of abuse, and threaten to run away, commit suicide or homicide if forced to see the father. Mother and child have a pathological bond, often based on shared paranoid fantasies about the father, sometimes to the point of folie a deux. In severe PAS, Gardner has found that if the child is allowed to stay with the mother the relationship with the father is doomed and the child develops long-standing psychopathology and even paranoia. Assuming the target parent is fit, Gardner believes that the only effective remedy in severe PAS is to give custody to the alienated parent. In 1992 he suggested that courts might be more receptive to the change of custody option if the child was provided with a therapeutic transitional placement such as hospitalization, an intervention employed with success by the author and her husband (see case vignette in Part II).

Gardner’s original conception of PAS was based on the child’s preoccupation with denigration of the target parent. It was not until two years later when he published his first book on PAS that he addressed the problem of PAS with false allegations of abuse. Gardner prefers to view such allegations as derivative of the PAS, observing that they often emerge after other efforts to exclude the target parent have failed. Some of the literature reviewed below, however, indicates that false allegations of abuse may also surface prior to the marital separation, symptomatic of a pre-existing psychiatric disorder of the alienating parent which may not be diagnosed until there is further mental deterioration after the divorce. Gardner was among the first to recognize that involving a child in false allegations of abuse is a form of abuse in itself and indicative of serious problems somewhere in the divorce family system. Insofar as PAS with false allegations of abuse can result in permanent destruction of the child’s relationship with the alienated parent, it can be more harmful to the child than if the alleged abuse had actually occurred.

Gardner supports joint custody for those parents who can sincerely agree on it and have the ability to fulfill this ideal. Research by Maccoby and Mnookin suggests that about 29 percent of divorced parents are successfully co-parenting three to four years after filing (20). Gardner opposes imposing joint custody on parents in dispute and between whom there is significant animosity. For these families, Gardner recommends that a thorough evaluation be conducted to develop a case specific plan with the right combination of court orders, mediation, therapeutic interventions, and arbitration.

HIGH CONFLICT DIVORCE AND PAS

High conflict divorce is characterized by intense and/or protracted post separation conflict and hostility between the parents which may be expressed overtly or covertly through ongoing litigation, verbal and physical aggression, and tactics of sabotage and deception. Clinical and research literature suggest that Parental Alienation Syndrome is a distinctive type of high conflict divorce which may require PAS specific interventions, just as the problems of divorced families have been found to respond to divorce specific interventions rather than to traditional therapies. In their book on children caught in the middle of high conflict divorce, Garrity and Baris treat PAS as a distinctive divorce family dynamic, devoting two chapters to PAS, one on understanding it and the other on a comprehensive intervention model (#21).

In high conflict divorce without significant PAS, the parents do most of the fighting while the children manage to go back and forth between homes, maintain their own views and preserve their affection for both parents. They cope by developing active skills for maneuvering the situation or by adopting a survival strategy of treating both parents with equal fairness and distance (8). Periodically, children may exacerbate parental conflicts by embellishing age appropriate separation anxieties, telling each parent things the parent wants to hear and shifting their allegiance back and forth between the parents. Nevertheless, they avoid consistent alignment with one parent against the other and are able to enjoy their time with each parent once the often difficult transition between homes has been accomplished.

In high conflict divorce with significant PAS, the children are personally involved in the parental conflict. Unable to manage the situation so as to preserve an affectionate relationship with both parents, the child takes the side of one parent against the other and participates in the battle as an ally of the alienating parent who is defined as good against the other parent who is viewed as despicable. In a study of 175 children from high conflict families, Johnston found that chronic hostility and protracted litigation between the parents contributed to the development of PAS among older children (9). In other words, where the system is unable to settle and contain parental divorce conflicts, the children may be at increasing risk for developing PAS as they get older. Johnston acknowledges that her findings support Gardner’s contention that as many as 90 percent of children involved in protracted custody show symptoms of PAS.

A large scale study of patterns of legal conflict between divorce parents three to four years after filing contained them significant finding that the most hostile divorce couples were not necessarily those engaged in the most contentious legal battles (20). This suggests that PAS may occur not only in the context of litigation but may develop after litigation has ceased, or proceed a new round of litigation after many years, supporting what Dunne and Hedrick found in their clinical study of severe PAS families (22).

According to Johnston, high conflict divorce is the product of a multilayered divorce impasse between the parents (8). Often, the impasse has its roots in one or both parents’ extreme vulnerability to issues of narcissistic injury, loss, anger and control. These vulnerabilities prevent a satisfactory divorce adjustment and feed an endless, sometimes escalating cycle of action and reaction which promotes and maintains parental conflict. The parents are frozen in transition, psychologically neither married, separated or divorced, a pattern which may pertain even when only one parent is significantly disturbed. Using Johnston’s model, PAS can be viewed as an effort by one parent, with the help of the children, to “resolve” the divorce impasse with a clear-cut understanding of who is good, who is to blame and how the parent to blame should be punished. The following vignette illustrates this. Like the other case examples interspersed throughout this article, it is a composite scenario synthesized from real cases encountered by the author and her colleagues.

Mr. L had adopted his wife’s child from her previous marriage and he and Mrs. L. had a child of their own, a girl who was six years old when Mr. L. moved out of the family home. During the six months leading up to this precipitous event, Mrs. L. was living in one part of the house with the older child while Mr. L. and his daughter had rooms together in a separate part of the house. The parents hardly spoke to one another but the children visited back and forth freely with each other and with both parents. Under the circumstances, Mr. L. did not think his wife would object to his leaving, but just in case there was a scene he decided to move out first and then work out the practical issues with Mrs. L. He left a letter for her and another one for the children, explaining his decision and affirming his desire to make arrangements for visitation and child support. Mrs. L. was furious. She immediately had the locks changed and successfully blocked her husband’s efforts to contact the children by phone or to see them. Both children probably felt betrayed by father and Mrs. L. amplified such feelings by telling the children their father had abandoned them and did not- care about them at all. She also alleged that he had had numerous affairs during the marriage although Mr. L. always denied that. These allegations may have sprung from the fact that Mrs. L. found out six weeks after her husband left that he was dating someone. Outraged, she told Mr. L. that he would never see the children again. She and the children began calling Mr. L. and his girl- friend at all hours, screaming accusations and obscenities over the phone until a restraining order was obtained. When efforts by father’s attorney to arrange for mediation between Mr. and Mrs. L. were stonewalled, Mr. L. got a court order for visitation. Three months had passed when his first opportunity to see his children since moving out was scheduled. On the eve of this visit, Mrs. L. called child protective services and accused Mr. L. of sexually molesting their daughter. According to the social worker’s notes which were obtained during subsequent litigation, Mrs. L. told the social worker that she “knew” while she and her husband were still living together that he was molesting their daughter.

The family law judge ordered a custody evaluation which was very thorough and took months to complete. The evaluator documented a number of instances in which the girl’s statements about abuse and hat mg. her father seemed to be strongly influenced by mother’s overwhelming anger and that of the older half sibling, who was strongly aligned with the mother. Mrs. L. was diagnosed with a severe narcissistic personality disorder with antisocial features, while Mr. L. was seen by the evaluator as rather passive by comparison and as ambivalent and conflict avoidant. The evaluator was able to hold one meeting with father and daughter together, during which their loving attachment to one another was apparent. This was the little girl’s first opportunity to talk to her father about the feelings engendered by his leaving. As it turned out, it was also her last opportunity. The PAS intensified such that efforts to convene further father/daughter sessions failed when the child threw tantrums in the waiting room and ran screaming into the parking lot where her mother was waiting.

Seven months after the marital separation, the custody evaluator’s report was released. It stated that the alleged abuse had in all probability not occurred but failed to diagnose severe PAS with false allegations of abuse. The evaluator recommended that the mother retain primary custody and that the girl and her parents each become involved in individual therapy to facilitate father/daughter reunification. Not surprisingly, Mrs. L. arranged for the child to see a therapist/intern who never saw the custody evaluator’s report. Based on input from the mother alone, the therapist treated the girl for abuse by her father instead of providing divorce specific therapy aimed at helping the little girl to adjust to her parent’s divorce and to establish a post divorce relationship with her father. The girl’s anger at her father became more extreme with each passing month and defeated the visitations planned by the family mediation center. Finally, a year after the separation, the custody evaluator was prepared to testify as to the PAS and to make the strong recommendations needed to remedy the situation. By that time, the father was convinced that nobody could do anything about his daughter’s continued expressions of hatred toward him. He also felt daunted by the prospect of further litigation and an even greater financial drain. He decided to let go, hoping that one day when his daughter was older she would understand and seek him out.

CHILDREN HELD HOSTAGE: DEALING WITH PROGRAMMED AND BRAINWASHED CHILDREN

By the late 1970s, judges, parents, and mental health professionals involved with divorce were so concerned about parental programming that the American Bar Association Section on Family Law commissioned this 12 year study of 700 divorce families (7). Clawar and Rivlin found that the problem of parental programming was indeed widespread and that even at low levels it had significant impact on children. Data from multiple sources was analyzed including: written records such as court transcripts, forensic reports, therapy notes and children’s diaries; audio and video tapes of interactions between children, their parents and others related to the case; direct observations, such as children with parents and clients with attorneys; and interviews with children, relatives, family friends, mental health professionals, school personnel, judges and conciliators.

Gardner’s work on PAS is referenced at the beginning of Clawar and Rivlin’s book (7), but the authors take issue with what they represent as his position, that less severe cases need not be a cause of great concern. They found that PAS can result from a variety of complex processes, whether or not one parent engages in a systematic programming campaign and whether or not alienation is the programming parent’s goal. Parental alienation is only one of a number of detrimental effects. According to this study, even well meaning parents often at tempt to influence what their children say in the custody and visitation proceedings.

Mild levels of parental programming and brainwashing seem to have significant effects.

Clawar and Rivlin anchor their work in 30 years of literature on social psychology and the processes of social influence, variously referred to in the literature as thought reform, brainwashing, indoctrination, modeling, mimicking, mind control, re-education, and coercive persuasion. These terms describe a variety of psychological methods for ridding people of ideas which authorities do not want them to have and for replacing old ways of thinking and behavior with new ones. For the purposes of research, Clawar and Rivlin ascertained the need for more precisely defined terminology. They selected the words “programming” and “brainwashing.” They defined “program” as the content, themes, and beliefs transmitted by the programming parent to the child regarding the other parent.

“Brainwashing” was defined as the interactional process by which the child was persuaded to accept and elaborate on the program. Brainwashing occurs over time and involves repetition of the program, or code words referring to the program, until the subject responds with attitudinal and behavioral compliance.

According to Clawar and Rivlin, the influence of a programming parent can be conscious and willful or unconscious and unintentional. It can be obvious or subtle, with rewards for compliance that were material, social or psychological. Noncompliance may be met with subtle psychological punishment such as withdrawal of love or direct corporal punishment, as illustrated in the case vignette of S in Part II. The author encountered another case in which the alienating mother handcuffed her son to the bedpost when he was 12 years old and the boy asserted he was not willing tocontinue saying his father had physically abused him. The Clawar and Rivlin study found that children may be active or passive participants in the alienation process. As the case of the 12- year-old boy suggests, the nature and degree of the child’s involvement in the PAS may change over time.

This study identifies the influential role of other people in the child’s life, such as relatives and professionals aligned with the alienating parent, whose endorsement of the program advances the brainwashing process. In a general way, these findings appear to replicate Johnston’s research on high conflict divorce which identified the importance of third party participants in parental conflicts (8). Rand noted the influence of so-called “professional participants in Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy type abuse which in divorce can overlap with PAS “(23).

Clawar and Rivlin identify eight stages of the programming/brainwashing process which culminates in severe Parental Alienation Syndrome (7). Recognizing the power imbalance between parent and child, they view the process as driven by the alienating parent who induces the child’s compliance on step by step basis:

1 ) A thematic focus to be shared by the programming parent and child emerges or is chosen. This may be tied to a more or less formal ideology relating to the family, religion, or ethnicity;

2) A sense of support and connection to the programming parent is created;

3) Feeling of sympathy for the programming parent is induced;

4) The child begins to show signs of compliance, such as expressing fear of visiting the target parent or refusing to talk to that parent on the phone;

5) The programming parent tests the child’s compliance, for example, asking the child questions after a visit and rewarding the child for ” correct ” answers;

6) The programming parent tests the child’s loyalty by having the child express views and attitudes which suggest a preference for one parent over the other;

7) Escalation/intensification/generalization occurs, for example, broadening the program with embellished or new allegations; the child rejects the target parent in a global, unambivalent fashion;

8) The program is maintained along with the child’s compliance, which may range from minor reminders and suggestions to intense pressure, depending on court activity and the child’s frame of mind.

CLINICAL STUDIES OF PAS

According to Gardner and seconded by Cartwright, Parental Alienation Syndrome is a developing concept which clinical and forensic practitioners will refine and redefine as new cases with different features become better understood (24). This section reviews the work of practitioners who, like Cartwright, seek to elaborate on Gardner’s work by contributing their own knowledge and experience from work with moderate to severe PAS cases.

Dunne and Hedrick

Practicing in Seattle, Washington, Dunne and Hedrick analyzed sixteen families who met Gardner’s criteria for severe PAS (22). Although the cases show a wide diversity of characteristics, the authors found Gardner’s criteria useful in differentiating these cases from other post-divorce difficulties, lending support for the idea that PAS has distinctive features which differentiate it from other forms of high conflict divorce. Among the severe PAS cases examined, some involved false allegations of abuse and some did not. Children in the same family sometimes responded to the divorce with opposing adjustments. For example, the oldest child in one family, a 16-year-old girl, aligned with her alienating mother while her 12-year-old brother’s desire for a relationship with his father led to the mother finally rejecting the boy.

Continuation – Part 2

The Spectrum of Parental Alienation Syndrome (Part I) by Deirde Rand, Piece 1.

Moms Maltreatment of Children 11 Times Greater Than Dads

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody for fathers, Child Support, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, mothers rights, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Single Moms, Sociopath on September 22, 2009 at 6:00 am

“What I find sad is the constant denial/skewing of statistics by father’s rights and men’s rights advocates that show moms are just as bad.” – Nancy Carroll aka rightsformothers

Moms are worse, Nancy Carroll…. 1100 percent worse... More fathers are winning custody from abusive moms. The only thing “skewed” is your ability to read FACTS and STATISTICS. Dads are far more protective of children than moms are. Read the statistics below:

https://mkg4583.wordpress.com/2009/09/16/child-maltreatment-2007-1100-percent-increase-by-mom-alone/

The Hidden Effects of Divorce On Children | Relationships And Dating Guide

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, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Protective Dads, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine on September 21, 2009 at 12:00 pm

The Hidden Effects of Divorce On Children

These days, it is hard to come by an individual who does not know someone who has been divorced, or who has not been divorced themselves. In Hollywood, divorce is seemingly becoming a common occurrence, while paving the way for a society where we’re not only getting married later in life, but also searching for an almost unrealistic level of happiness in our marriage.

Many couples considering divorce refuse to believe that divorce can have a negative effect on their children. But many studies have been conducted that prove otherwise.

A long term study released in 2002 by the Institute for American Values found that “unhappily married adults who divorced were no more likely to report emotional or psychological improvements than those who stayed married.

According to this study, divorce does in fact NOT improve your emotional health. I think it would be safe to assume that this is due to the stress and financial burden divorce inflicts upon couples.

Here’s another fact you might not know…

The Institute for American Values study found that almost eight out of 10 couples who avoided divorce were happily married five years later. Surprising, isn’t it?

Here’s another fact…

Half of all American children will witness the breakup of a parent’s marriage. Of these, close to half will also see the breakup of a parent’s second marriage.” (Furstenberg, Peterson, Nord, and Zill, “Life Course”)

Many couples divorce, and then remarry without knowing the true cause of their marriage problems in the first marriage. This is why the second marriage divorce rate is even higher than that of the first marriage!

Here’s are some statistics specifically about the effects of divorce on children…

– Studies in the early 1980’s showed that children in repeat divorces earned lower grades and their peers rated them as less pleasant to be around. (Andrew J. Cherlin, Marriage, Divorce, Remarriage –Harvard University Press 1981)

– Forty percent of children growing up in America today are being raised without their fathers. (Wade, Horn and Busy, “Fathers, Marriage and Welfare Reform” Hudson Institute Executive Briefing, 1997)

– Teenagers in single-parent families and in blended families are three times more likely to need psychological help within a given year. (Peter Hill “Recent Advances in Selected Aspects of Adolescent Development” Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 1993)

– Compared to children from homes disrupted by death, children from divorced homes have more psychological problems. (Robert E. Emery, Marriage, Divorce and Children’s Adjustment” Sage Publications, 1988)

That statistic is truly amazing, isn’t it? But let me continue on…here are are some more shocking statistics on the effect of divorce on children…

– Children living with both biological parents are 20 to 35 percent more physically healthy than children from broken homes. (Dawson, “Family Structure and Children’s Health and Well-being” Journal of Marriage and the Family)

– Most victims of child molestation come from single-parent households or are the children of drug ring members. (Los Angles Times 16 September 1985 The Garbage Generation)

– A Child in a female-headed home is 10 times more likely to be beaten or murdered. (The Legal Beagle, July 1984, from “The Garbage Generation”)

– The study of children six years after a parental marriage breakup revealed that even after all that time, these children tended to be “lonely, unhappy, anxious and insecure”. (Wallerstein “The Long-Term Effects of Divorce on Children” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 1991)

– Children of divorce are four times more likely to report problems with peers and friends than children whose parents have kept their marriages intact. (Tysse, Burnett, “Moral Dilemmas of Early Adolescents of Divorced and Intact Families. Journal of Early Adolescence 1993)

– Children of divorce, particularly boys, tend to be more aggressive toward others than those children whose parents did not divorce. (Emery, “Marriage, Divorce and Children’s Adjustment, 1988)

– Children of divorce are at a greater risk to experience injury, asthma, headaches and speech defects than children whose parents have remained married. (Dawson, “Family Structure and Children’s Health and Well Being” National Health Interview Survey on Child Health, Journal of Marriage and the Family)

– People who come from broken homes are almost twice as likely to attempt suicide than those who do not come from broken homes. (Velez-Cohen, “Suicidal Behavior and Ideation in a Community Sample of Children” Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 1988)

– Children of divorced parents are roughly two times more likely to drop out of high school than their peers who benefit from living with parents who did not divorce. (McLanahan, Sandefur, “Growing Up With a Single Parent: What Hurts, What Helps” Harvard University Press 1994)

– Seventy percent of long-term prison inmates grew up in broken homes. (Horn, Bush, “Fathers, Marriage and Welfare Reform)

– Following divorce, children are fifty percent more likely to develop health problems than two parent families. (Angel, Worobey, “Single Motherhood and Children’s Health”)

– Of all children born to married parents this year, fifty percent will experience the divorce of their parents before they reach their 18th birthday. (Fagan, Fitzgerald, Rector, “The Effects of Divorce On America)

I hope these statistics may eventually cause you (or your spouse) to seriously consider all the consequences of divorce before you make that final decision.

Based on these statistics, it becomes obvious that children need stable, loving homes with both mom and dad. There is, of course an exception to every rule, and in this case it is households where abuse is taking place. Children should under no circumstances remain in an abusive atmosphere that is unsafe for them.

But if there is no abuse taking place in your marriage and the two of you have simply “grown apart”,or fell out of love, I urge you to seek out help for your marriage before you give up completely. For your children’s sake, even if you’re feeling hopeless right now, get help for your marriage today.

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With an 88% success rate, Larry Bilotta’s Marriage Lifeline Program, gives you hope for your marriage – even if you’re the only one who wants to Save your marriage. For FREE, straightforward, no-nonsense advice you can use to save your marriage, with or WITHOUT your spouse’s participation visit Larry’s web site: Stop Your Divorce.

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The Hidden Effects of Divorce On Children | Relationships And Dating Guide.

A Kidnapped Mind: A Mother’s Heartbreaking Memoir of Parental Alienation

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Single Parenting on September 17, 2009 at 11:00 pm

Parental Alienators are both mothers and fathers.   Children suffer the effects of hateful moms and dads who keep children away from the other parent.  Parental Alienators FAIL the MMPI-II at it is time for us to codify this mental illness in the DSM-IV. – Parental Rights

Presented as the story of an “indefatigable mother’s fierce love,” Pamela Richardson’s A Kidnapped Mind: A Mother’s Heartbreaking Story of Parental Alienation Syndrome (Dundurn 2006) is a memoir of losing her son, Dash, during an eight-year custody battle, then ultimately to death. With an introduction by a “divorce and custody consultant” named Dr. Reena Sommer, this harrowing tale of domestic strife attributes the estrangement of Richardson’s son to “Parental Alienation Syndrome” as triggered by the cruel and insidious “brainwashing” of her son by her ex-husband. Published in the wake of Richardson’s ex-husband’s death, A Kidnapped Mind could have educational value for anyone who cannot imagine the prolonged treachery of an ex-spouse. The Vancouver author formerly worked as a minor television personality before marrying her second husband.

A Kidnapped Mind

A Kidnapped Mind

BOOKS:

A Kidnapped Mind: A Mother’s Heartbreaking Story of Parental Alienation Syndrome (Dundurn 2006). $24.99 1-55002-624-0

[BCBW 2006] “Advice”

A Kidnapped Mind (Dundurn $24.99)
Review

“Agents now tell their fiction-writing clients to write narrative non-fiction, compelling stories of autism, alcoholism, abuse and Alzheimer’s (and we’re not even through the A’s).” — Martin Levin, books editor, the Globe & Mail

A Kidnapped Mind (Dundurn $24.99) by Pamela Richardson with Jane Broweleit and Walking After Midnight (Raincoast $32.95) by Katy Hutchison both fall into the category allegedly recommended by literary agents [see quote above]. They are compelling non-fiction narratives that revolve around turbulent teenagers.

Pamela Richardson’s story begins when her former husband gains custody of their four-year-old son. As a criminal lawyer, his legal knowledge and his influential friends enabled him to sway the presiding judge. Although this is a highly subjective first person account, written after the former husband and son have died, it seems clear that Richardson’s depiction of the arrogance and blindness of the judicial system has some foundation.

Judges persisted in favouring the father, in spite of evidence of his alcoholism and neglect. Their rulings were bolstered by reports by court-appointed psychologists who recommended that the child remain with his father even while they acknowledged the
father had “a drinking problem” and suffered from Adult Attention Deficit Disorder. From the beginning, he used the child as a means of tormenting his former wife, obstructed her legal access, and poisoned her relationship with her son.

Some brave friends testified to the father’s misdeeds while many others (including one of the mother’s lawyers) backed off, allegedly intimidated by his threats of violence. When the courts belatedly recognized the damage facilitated by earlier decisions, it was too late.

Court decisions can be reversed but not the years of damage they have caused. Richardson brought in experts on Parental Alienation Syndrome and used her considerable wealth in a last desperate attempt to force him into rehab programs. She never gave up the battle for her son, but she was helpless to prevent his downward spiral. At the age of sixteen he jumped to his death from the Granville Street bridge. The book-jacket description of this story as “heart-breaking” is no hyperbole.

ABCBookWorld.

Because Lying in the Family Court is Child Abuse | MND: Your Daily Dose of Counter-Theory

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, Feminism, 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, Protective Parents, Restraining Orders, Rooker-Feldman Doctrine, Single Parenting, Sociopath on September 16, 2009 at 11:35 pm

Because Lying in the Family Court is Child Abuse

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

By Amfortas

The Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, Diana Bryant, has recently launched an extraordinary attack on Australia’s internationally regarded 2006 Family Law amendments, by writing to the Attorney-General and asking him to urgently repeal important provisions within the amendments.

According to Ash Patil, President of shared parenting group Fathers4Equality, “These provisions in the family law act were specifically implemented to reduce the epidemic of false allegations and parental alienation that permeate every corridor of the Family Law Courts, to the clear detriment of the innocent children caught in the cross-fire.

But Bryant wants them removed, and fails to explain how the innocent victims of maliciously false allegations would be protected without them.

James Adams adds, “What is more astonishing it seems is that unlike the parliamentary committee that recommended these laws in the first place, the Chief Justice has not consulted widely before making such an extraordinary intervention (in fact she has not consulted with any fathers’ groups at all).

Rightly or wrongly, Bryant will now be perceived to have compromised views on this issue, denying her the opportunity to have played a unifying force in the process of family law reform in this country, much like the wasted opportunities of her predecessor.”

The two provisions Bryant wants specifically removed include:

*the order of costs, at the Judge’s discretion, against a parent who has been proven to have “knowingly” made false allegation in Court,

and

*unspecified actions, at the Judges’s discretion, against a parent who has purposely alienated or deliberately maligned the children against the other parent.

The importance of these provisions Patil explains.  ”These provisions have been specifically implemented to reduce the disturbingly common practices by some separated parents in making contrived and sinister allegations in Court against the other parent, and to otherwise engage in concerted efforts to destroy the relationship between the child and the other parent. This is done knowing full well the children will be irrevocably harmed in the process, both psychologically and emotionally.

Yet it goes on and will continue to go on given human nature, unless we have laws to help it stop.

“So these are ‘good’, modest provisions designed to stop misguided parents from misusing the system and abusing innocent children”  were introduced only after extensive community consultation.

According to Adams “These provisions were agreed to by a bi-partisan parliamentary committee (both Labor and Libs/Nats) that went around Australia canvassing the views of all Australians for over two years.

Finally this committee was so appalled at the extent of institutional abuse in the Family Court that it recommended measures to protect innocent children and parents who were victims of contrived allegations and parental alienation by spiteful ex-partners.

” But Bryant wants to override the will of the Australian people and the will of Parliament, and to completely remove all disincentives against lying in the Family Court.

Really soft penalty for a very serious crime.

Patil, who claims that many F4E members are subjected to false allegations, states that “Proving that someone has ‘knowingly’ made false allegations rather than ‘mistakenly’ or ‘recklessly’ is quite a tall order. The standard of proof in these matters is a very tough hurdle to pass, and as a result ‘knowingly false’ allegations have only been proven in a relatively few cases in recent years.

If they are proved, they may result in a costs order, although this has been rarely applied in children’s matters by the judiciary. “Now given that perjury in any other Australian court may result in 10 years or more jail time, one must be mindful of the fact that this is a really soft penalty for a very serious crime.

It is a provision however that can work as a disincentive, albeit a modest one, in dissuading many parents from lying in the Family Court in the first place.” So these are “good”, modest provisions designed as a disincentive to those misguided parents who may in a moment of weakness be tempted to make contrived allegations in Court.

Measured responses to issues of concern Patil and Adams are frustrated by the logic used by the Chief Justice, and Patil adds that “Bryant justifies the need for these changes by suggesting that some people have misunderstood these provisions.

Even if this is true, her suggested fix is a remarkable over-reaction to an issue that could be addressed through a number of simple measures.” “Given that most parents in family law proceedings are either represented by lawyers, have visited a family relationship centre or have sought government funded legal services, a simple review could identify the cause of this misinformation from within these service providers, and provide an opportunity for corrective measures to be implemented.”

Adams wonders why the Chief Justice needs to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and opines that “a request to the Attorney General to implement an educational campaign to educate parents about these provisions would go a long way in addressing any existing misconceptions, and would be a more measured and effective approach to the issue at hand.”

Adams continues “Given the unprecedented nature of these family law amendments, what is required are sensible, well-measured & ultimately timely approaches to these issues, in order to allow for proper outcomes based research to develop. Anything less than this would put at risk the very wellbeing of those we are trying to protect.”

Broader consultations as a first step Fathers4Equality would like to encourage the Chief Justice to put some thought into what checks and measures she would alternatively suggest be implemented, if the current provisions are removed, to protect children from the devastating damage resulting from alienation and perjury in Court.

Given that lying in the Family Court and parental alienation are forms of child abuse, we stress the importance of carefully considering the implications to the welfare of children if these safeguards are removed.

Secondly and in reference to a recent campaign that has promoted a less than accurate reflection of these new laws, we would ask the Chief Justice to consider making a public statement to the effect, as is the case, that no evidence exists of any escalation of child abuse as a result of the new amendments.

This would be an important statement from the Chief Justice in the interests of an informed community discussion on this matter, and would help ensure that the debate is discussed in terms of facts, not innuendo.

Finally, we would like to draw attention to the increasingly under-resourced and overworked child protection authorities in this country, and the fact that too many cases of genuine abuse are not thoroughly investigated, in part because of the level of false allegations emanating from the Family Court.

It must be recognised that for every hour that a child protection officer is investigating a false allegation, it is one hour less protection that can be given to a child in genuine need, and this is a cost that the children of Australia simply cannot afford. Fathers4Equality would be open to discussing these important issues further with the Chief Justice, if she is willing to accept our invitation.

Because Lying in the Family Court is Child Abuse | MND: Your Daily Dose of Counter-Theory.

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) from Dr Sommers

In Activism, 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, cps fraud, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, 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 on September 16, 2009 at 11:02 pm

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) from Dr Sommers

Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) from Dr Sommers

parental-alienation-syndromeImportant Issues in
The Parental Alienation Syndrome

Reena Sommer, Ph.D.

The Parental Alienation Syndrome (P.A.S.) is a burden that a child is forced to bear when one parent fails to recognize their child’s strong need to love and be loved by the other parent.
(Mother is Rural Manitoba – name withheld by request)

Parental Alienation Syndrome: The Problem

The Parental Alienation Syndrome (P.A.S.) is the extreme end of a custody battle gone “real bad”. P.A.S. is a most negative consequence of an increasing number of high conflict divorces. In these cases, children become the victims of a relentless and destructive “tug of war” between their parents. It is a war that children cannot win or defend themselves against. It is a war where the “enemy” (the alienating parent) is someone whom the children dearly love and depend upon for their needs to be met. For children, PAS is about loss, insecurity, fear, confusion, sadness, hopelessness and despair. In fact, some experts consider PAS to be a form of child abuse because:

it robs children of the security provided by the bond they once shared with the targeted parent
it embeds in children’s minds falsehoods about the targeted parent that are injurious to their own psyche and their sense of self (i.e., “Mom/Dad never really loved you”; “Mom/Dad is dangerous”; “Mom/Dad has done inappropriate things to you”).
the process of aligning children against the targeted parent often involves threats, lies, manipulations, deprivation and even physical abuse

For the alienating parents, PAS can have several motivators such as:

feeling betrayed or rejected by the targeted parent
revenge
jealousy
fear
insecurity
anger
money
using the children as as pawns to get a better divorce settlement

Defining Parental Alienation Syndrome

The Parental Alienation Syndrome has been variously defined. But here is the definition I tend to rely upon because it is based on my observations of and experiences with divorcing families:

“The Parental Alienation Syndrome is the deliberate attempt by
one parent (and/or guardian/significant other) to distance his/her children
from the other parent and in doing so, the parent engages the children
in the process of destroying the affectional ties and familial bonds that once existed…”

The alienating process develops over time and the distancing between the children and the targeted that occurs includes some or all of the following features:

.

The alienating parent speaks badly or demeans the targeted parent directly to the children
the disparaging comments made by the alienating parent to their children about the targeted parent can be implicit (”I am not sure I will be able to afford to send you to camp because “Mom” or “Dad” does not realize how much you enjoy it”) or explicit (”Mom/Dad” left us because he/she never cared enough about you to keep our family together”)
The alienating parent speaks badly or demeans the targeted parent to others in the presence (or within audible distance) of the children.
The alienating parent discusses with the children the circumstances under which the marriage broke down and blames the targeted parent for its failure.
The alienating parent exposes the children to the details of the parents’ ongoing conflict, financial problems and legal proceedings.
The alienating parent blames the targeted parent for changes in life style, any current hardships; his/her negative emotional state and inability to function as before and conveys this to the children.
Allegations of sexual, physical and emotional abuse of children are often made.
Alienated children come to know that in order to please the alienating parent, they must turn against the targeted parent.

These features exemplify the diagnostic criterion set out by the late Dr. Richard Gardner in his discussion of the Parental Alienation Syndrome. Dr. Gardner’s early writings are now supported by empirical research on P.A.S. conducted by numerous academics, thus adding credence to P.A.S.’s validity and existence. Nevertheless, there are still some who have chosen to misinterpret Dr. Gardner’s writings by suggesting that he advocated pedophilia and/or placing children at risk with their abusers. This is clearly a gross distortion of Dr. Gardner’s expressed intent as he emphatically and repeatedly stipulates in his papers that allegations of abuse that are made all too frequently in custody disputes must have no prior history, nor upon investigation are they to be found to have any basis. These types of outlandish criticisms are reflective of misguided thinking, ignorance and an ideological perspective that requires a distortion of reality to give it validity

The Genesis of Parental Alienation Syndrome

//
//

It is believed that P.A.S. arose out of changes to the divorce laws in western society. Starting the 1970’s, family courts began to recognize that both parents had rights and responsibilities when it came to providing for their children post divorce. Out of that recognition, the concept of “joint custody” was born where both parents were allowed to continue in their roles as “legal” parents just as they had been during the marriage. Today, joint custody is considered the norm in most western countries. However, along with this progressive move in divorce laws, there has also been an increase in the incidence of P.A.S. – where children have unfortunately become pawns in their parents’ struggles for alimony, support, the marital home and other assets of the marriage. Parental Alienation Syndrome has only recently been recognized in the divorce literature as a phenomenon occurring with sufficient frequency and with particular defining characteristics as to warrant recognition. Today, the P.A.S. as a byproduct of custody battles is attracting the attention of divorcing parents, child protective agencies, doctors, teachers, clergy, divorce attorneys and divorce courts.

The Politics of Parental Alienation Syndrome

Because the Parental Alienation Syndrome has been linked to the increase in joint custody awards, it is also an issue that has fuelled considerable debate concerning the validity of its existence. Opponents and critics of P.A.S. continue to argue that it does not exist simply because of its absence in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (Version IV) or the DSM-IV. While there is no dispute that this argument has face validity, it nevertheless neglects the following alternative salient argument: – As with any phenomenon, there is always a lag period between the times it is first identified and when it is fully embraced by the community at large.

There are many examples of this such as:

schizophrenia (it was originally thought that people with this disorder were smitten by the devil)
cancer
attention deficit disorder
dyslexia
HIV and AIDS

There is no doubt that these conditions existed long before they were acknowledged in textbooks or by academic and legal authorities. However, their absence from these authoritative sources did not imply that didn’t exist or lacked validity. What it meant is that for some of these conditions, there was a lengthy lag periods – in some cases, almost a century. Hopefully, this will not be the case for P.A.S. because modern technology makes it possible for the publication of research and transmissions of information to occur much quicker than ever before. But in the meantime, if we are to discount the existence of P.A.S., we are turning our backs on children who are being deprived on their right to love and be loved by both parents. Regardless of the arguments put forth to discount the P.A.S.’s existence and validity, it is difficult to explain how a previously strong, intact, positive and loving relationship between a child and his or her parent quickly disintegrates and transforms into outward hostility toward that parent, usually following separation or some other significant family reorganization involving high levels of conflict.In spite of the divisiveness concerning the validity of the Parental Alienation Syndrome, one issue that few will debate is the fact that too many children are now caught in a “tug of war” between their separated parents.

The Consequences of Parental Alienation Syndrome

Children who are exposed to the ongoing conflict and hostility of their parents suffer tremendously. The guilt they experience when their parents’ first separate, is exacerbated by the added stress of being made to feel that their love and attachment for one parent is contingent on their abandoning the other. Although children are powerless to end the struggle between their parents’, they come to believe that if they turn against one in favor of the other, the unhappiness they experience on an ongoing basis will also end. And if the alienating process is at all successful, its long term consequences for children victimized by it may be even more profound. The main concerns rest in their ability to form healthy and lasting intimate relationships with others as well as how it may negatively influence their self esteem, self concept and general outlook toward life in general. We owe it to children to do what is necessary to prevent this from happening.

© Reena Sommer, Ph.D. 2004-2009 http://www.solutions4pas.com/PASreport.html

No related posts.

via Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) from Dr Sommers.

HHS Child Maltreatment 2007: 1100 Percent Increase by Mom Alone

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Foster Care Scam, Liberty, Marriage, MMPI, MMPI 2, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Single Moms, Single Parenting, Sociopath on September 16, 2009 at 1:00 am

Fortunately, legislators are now beginning to see the results of what happens to children when they are left in single mom home, and single mom homes, with boyfriends. Child Abuse statistics as reported by the Department of HHS. It is time for legislators to act to protect children by protecting and insuring dads involvement .

President Obama’s fatherhood initiative bill that failed in 2006 while he was Senator, has been reincarnated by Senator Bayh and it will pass, this time. Although there are some dads that will see this bill as flawed, it is a step in the right direction to bring dads back into relationship with the children and end the cycle of Domestic Violence inflicted on them by the perps who hurt them, Biological Moms and Moms with boyfriends. (BM)

This group, BMs, combined accounts for 44.4 percent of domestic violence against children.

The second group Biological Dads and others (BD), account for 18.8 percent of domestic violence against children. The third group is both mom and dad at 16.8 percent. Children are safer in a married parents home.

The statistics are clear. Children are only marginally more at danger with Biological dad and Other alone by 2 percentage points!!

But with Biological Mom and BF? These perps go up by a whopping 27.5 percent!!!

Statistically, that means after divorce dads and new wife and girlfriend account for 2 percent increase.

On the other hand moms and new husband or boyfriend account for a 27.5 percent increase with biological moms responsible for 22 percent increase!! in violence against their own children!!

Biological Dads = 2 percent increase !!
Bioligical Moms = 22 percent increase !!

Children experience a 1100 PERCENT INCREASE in domestic violence by their biological moms alone.

It is time for legislators and judges to put dads back in homes, and end the terror that children experience when their daddy is gone……..and it is just mommy!

Figure 3-6 Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2007

Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2007

Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2007

This 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.

Child Maltreatment 2007: Figure 3-6 Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2007.

Mums Lead Abuse Shame – Children at Risk!

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children criminals, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Freedom, Liberty, Marriage, National Parents Day, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Protective Dads, Protective Parents on September 15, 2009 at 2:00 am

The same holds true in the United States with moms abusing the children in record numbers, and we are making it known everywhere, that it is time to put dad back in the home to protect the children from mums. – Parental Rights.  The US stats are here: Child Maltreatment 2007: Figure 3-6 Victims by Perpetrator Relationship, 2007.

Mums lead abuse shame

Posted by Laurie Nowell on September 13th, 2009 | Category: Laurie Nowell

Sunday Herald Sun (Melbourne)
13 September 2009, Page 35

By Laurie Nowell

Child abuse is rising dramatically in Australia, according to the first
in-depth study to be released on the issue in a decade.

Data shows cases of abuse against children rose more than 50 per cent between 2006 and 2008.

In the 37 per cent of cases in which a parent was the perpetrator, mothers were responsible for 73 per cent of abuse cases while fathers were the cause of 27 per cent.

The data, the first of its kind to emerge since 1996 and obtained under Freedom of Information (FoI) laws, was compiled by the Western Australia Department of Child Protection.

The figures present a disturbing snapshot of soaring child abuse and its perpetrators. Experts say the data can accurately be applied across Australia.

Applications under FoI for similar data from all other states were refused.  The statistics come as the Federal Government has signalled it may roll back the “shared parenting” amendments to the Family Law Act, brought in under the Howard government to give fathers greater access to their children in custody battles.

The data shows fathers are most responsible for sex abuse against children – accounting for more than 85 per cent of cases.

But mothers carry out more than 65 per cent of cases of emotional and psychological abuse and about 53 per cent of physical abuse. They are also responsible for about 93 per cent of cases of neglect.

There were 1,505 cases of abuse of children in WA in 2007-08 – 427 of them were carried out by mothers and 155 by fathers.

In other cases in which the gender of the perpetrator was determined, 463 cases were carried out by women and 353 by men.

A comparison with 2005-06 data shows the number of total cases of abuse had risen more than 50 per cent from 960. In 2005-06, mothers carried out 312 acts of abuse and fathers 165.

University of Western Sydney lecturer Micheal Woods said the findings “undermined the myth that fathers were the major risk factor for their children’s wellbeing”.

“While there are some abusive fathers, there are in fact a larger
proportion of violent and abusive mothers,” Mr Woods said.

F4E Blog – Father Matters.

Children can get killed when the signs of Parental Alienation are missed

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Freedom, Glenn Sacks, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, Maternal Deprivation, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Single Parenting, Sociopath on September 14, 2009 at 6:11 pm

Children can get killed when the signs of Parental Alienation are missed

(MMD Newswire) September 14, 2009 — Rekha Kumari-Baker stabs her teenage daughers Davina Baker and Jasmine Baker to death; Frances Elaine Campione drowns her daughters Sophia (1) and Serena (3); Nadine Bernard kills her 18 month old son Jayden Bernard; Claude Mubiangata kills his daughters Alpha and Cyndy and sons Kio and Aaron , aged 3-12; Brian Philcox murders his daughter Amy (7), and son Owen (3) by strapping them into the car and running the exhaust of his car in; James Gumm shoots his son Tyler Gumm (7) and daughter Kylie Gumm (6) at close range; Alysha Green douses her 3 daughters Alexandria Green (5), Adamiria Green (7) and Ariania Green (3) with gasoline and sets them on fire; Michele Sambriski kills daughter Gina (2); and the list continues.These seemingly random acts of insanity have a few commonalities, one of which is that there were signs. Signs of Parental Alienation, also called Hostile Aggressive Parenting. Signs which friends, family and/or professionals missed or ignored. Signs that if taken seriously may have saved some young, innocent lives.

Parental Alienation, also called Hostile Aggressive Parenting, is a set of behaviors that are very harmful to children’s emotional and mental health, and in extreme cases, to their lives. Mild Parental Alienation behaviors, such as bad-mouthing a parent, interfering with parenting time of a child and parent, can quickly escalate to obsessive alienation, such as refusing to give the child any gifts from the rejected parent, denying the existence of the other parent and forcing the child to take sides or risk being rejected by them. At the extreme end of the continuum, Parental Alienation can result in Parental Abduction and Parental Homocide.

These behaviors can occur in intact families, but occur most often in separated and divorced families. The courts and court professionals may then exacerbate the problem by not recognizing the signs of this type of abuse. Forcing a child to look down upon and/or hate another parent can be extremely harmful to children.

It’s time for public and professionals alike to stop ignoring the signs. Parents, and the children affected by these behaviors need quick and effective help, before the behaviors escalate; and before more children are abducted or murdered!

For every child murdered with signs of Parental Alienation, there are thousands more suffering mental and emotional trauma and abuse. How many more children need to suffer before Parental Alienation behaviors are recognized and stopped.

Join us in doing your part in your community to raise awareness of Parental Alienation and Hostile Aggressive Parenting, so that one day, these behaviors will become as socially unacceptable and recognizable as child battery.

“With education and awareness comes the power to stop the abuse of our most innocent-the children!” – Sarvy Emo, Founder of Parental Alienation Awareness Day, April 25th.

For more information on these behaviors and how to help raise awareness, visit www.paawareness.org

For further information contact:
Sarvy Emo
416-840-5657
info@paawareness.org
www.paawareness.org

###

Children can get killed when the signs of Parental Alienation are missed.

Fathers Needed to Help Stop Child Abuse – 2007 HHS Report

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, child abuse, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Child Custody for Mothers, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Relocation on September 13, 2009 at 1:00 am

Fathers needed to help stop child abuse
Wednesday Jul 15, 2009

I read with interest the July 9th [op-ed] in the South End News, “Health-care reform should include child abuse prevention,” by Daniel F. Conley, District Attorney of Suffolk County.

I do agree with DA Conley that funds to fight child abuse are important.

However, what DA Conley does not mention is who is responsible for the majority of child abuse and why this abuse sometimes occurs. According to the 2007 Child Maltreatment Report of the US Department of Health and Human Services, 38.7 percent of victims were at the hands of their mother only, compared to 17.9 percent at the hands of their father only. Mother and father together was 16.8 percent.

So one of the most protective methods to prevent child abuse is to bring back stable families into children’s lives to prevent child abuse. Today 40 percent of all new births are to unwed mothers and over 30 percent of children are raised without a dad in the house, over 20 million kids. From these numbers, one can deduce that there will be an explosion of child abuse with so many children brought up in single parent, mostly mother-only homes.

This explosion of single-mom homes has been due to well-meaning but perverse federal and state laws. They include Title IV(d) – Child Support to States, which actually has perverse incentives to keep a father out of the home and the Violence Against Women’s Act, which was not made gender neutral and has allowed for an explosion of false allegations without due process. The Crime Bill of 1994, which is not equally applied. The Brady Bill, which has sent more dead-broke fathers, non-violent fathers to jail. The tax code head of household provision is biased against fathers. Lack of equal shared parenting laws for fit parents and the lack of criminal penalties for false allegations and for the use of parental alienation hurt too.

If we truly want to make a dent into child abuse, one of the root ways is to bring back fathers into the household, as well as some of the support systems mentioned by DA Conley.

Dr. Peter G. Hill
Boston Copley Square Chiropractic
304 Columbus Avenue

A tale of two cities

On Sunday, July 12, Boston was literally a tale of two cities. Along Boston’s long waterfront from the Charlestown Navy Yard to the Seaport World Trade Center, thousands upon thousands were touring the tall ships in Boston for Sail Boston 2009. At the same time, over in Dorchester, folks were taking part in the ninth annual Parents’ and Children’s Walk for Peace. While driving through Upham’s Corner in Dorchester, I passed by this peace gathering sponsored by the Bobby Mendes Peace Legacy watching sad but hopeful faces, the relatives of murdered victims carrying their message of peace.

This crowd was much smaller than the one viewing those majestic tall ships but what they lacked in quantity, they made up in their continued drive to drive out violence from their communities. I viewed the march for a few minutes as it turned off Columbia Road onto Dudley Street. Ten minutes down Dudley Street and I am back in my boyhood neighborhood of 45-50 years ago. Things have not been right in my old neighborhood for decades and if things are ever to get right again, it will be because of people like these marchers working for change along with their chanting. Actions speak louder than words. Marches bring people together but once brought together a commitment to real change begins as soon as the march ends. The tall ships docked inside the harbor but there is no safe harbor for young people today as violence robs many of their futures.

Sal Giarratani
Roslindale

A healthy thank you for Senator Hart

On behalf of the 34,000 healthcare workers of 1199SEIU throughout Massachusetts, I would like to thank Senator Jack Hart for meeting with frontline health-care workers from Boston Medical Center. Senator Hart was incredibly gracious in taking time to hear from us as constituents and as caregivers about the challenges we are facing in the health-care industry right now, as we strive to fulfill our mission of delivering quality care to the residents of the South End.

It is good to know that Senator Hart cares about keeping our communities healthy and supports investing in health-care facilities, programs, and job training to ensure quality health-care services and quality jobs for Boston area residents. The local health-care industry is facing major challenges in this economy, and we know everyone needs to work together to make health care better for our patients, consumers, and nursing home residents. The health-care workers of 1199SEIU and Boston Medical Center want to thank the senator for meeting with us and taking a leadership role in that effort.

Roxana B. Hidalgo
Biller, Patient Financial Services, Boston Medical Center
South Boston

MySouthEnd.com – Local news and entertainment for Boston’s Historic South End.

Straight From The U.S. Department of Health & Human Service’s Mouth: Children are More at Risk With MOTHERS – 2007 Report, Not the 1996 NIS-3

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Children and Domestic Violence, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Feminism, Foster Care, Freedom, Glenn Sacks, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Liberty, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parentectomy, Parents rights on September 11, 2009 at 12:39 am

Another mad mom blogger NANCY CARROLL, aka, rightsformothers.com, aka, car-woman? that always get it WRONG, posted: http://justice4mothers.wordpress.com/2009/09/10/straight-from-the-u-s-department-of-health-human-services-mouth-children-are-more-at-risk-with-fathers/

“Straight From The U.S. Department of Health & Human Service’s Mouth: Children are More at Risk With Fathers
as if it were JUST RELEASED..???…. but got I got news:
That statistic is from a 1996 report, NANCY CARROLL…. Try the newest HHS report, moron. Below is from the 2007 report.

Moms are dangerous, especially single moms.

Perpetrator Relationship

Victim data were analyzed by relationship to their perpetrators. Nearly 39 percent (38.7%) of victims were maltreated by their mother acting alone (figure 3–6). Nearly 18 percent (17.9%) of victims were maltreated by their father acting alone. Nearly 17 percent (16.8%) were maltreated by both parents.19 ”

Instead, I think I will right a story on this one instead…on my blog site and send it to Glenn Sacks, et.al..

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/cb/pubs/cm07/chapter3.htm#factors

What children want most is a ban on divorce, says poll – Telegraph

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Custody for fathers, Childrens Rights, Department of Social Servies, Domestic Relations, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, Marriage, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation on September 10, 2009 at 12:35 am

A ban on divorce is what most children would introduce if they ruled the world, according to a poll.

By Alastair Jamieson
Published: 8:52PM GMT 14 Dec 2008

Marital splits were also named the second-worst thing in the world in the survey of under-10s, behind being fat.

The annual survey of 1,600 youngsters found X Factor judge Simon Cowell was more famous than God or Her Majesty the Queen and that the very best things in the world are ‘good looks’.

Asked what rules they would make if they were king or queen of the world, most children replied they would ban divorce – the first time it has come at the top of the list.

Bullying would also be banned and has risen to the number two slot from number three last year and number five the year before.

Around two thirds of the children who took part said they were happy, but 27 per cent were not and a further seven per cent were unsure.

Over 80 per cent of the children questioned thought they would probably marry when they grow up although 17 per cent gave a definite “no” on the subject.

Sixty six per cent wanted to have children, with most of them stopping at one or two. Nearly one third were unsure about becoming parents.

Saturday remains the best day of the week for most, because there is no school and they can stay up late to watch television.

Nearly all of those surveyed had a best friend who was kind, but many said they were in love – the number two reason for having a best friend this year, rising from number five last year and seven the year before.

Being fat topped the list of worst things in the world, rising from number three last year. It was number nine in 2006, but was not featured in the 2005 list.

The nationwide research was carried out by Luton First, sponsors and organisers of the fourth annual National Kids’ Day.

Patricia Murchie, of Luton First, said: “It seems clear that many pre-teens are more concerned than ever with their looks and weight – possibly reflecting media images of glamour, and new educational initiatives in nutrition and healthy eating.”

She said: “This particular age group has some very clear ideas on how the world could be changed for the better, but are very rarely given the opportunity to express them.”

What children want most is a ban on divorce, says poll – Telegraph.

Children in single-parent families more likely to suffer emotional problems, report finds – Telegraph

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, Feminism, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, kidnapped children, Marriage, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, parental rights, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights on August 20, 2009 at 3:38 pm

Children in single-parent families more likely to suffer emotional problems, report finds

Children from broken homes are almost five times more likely to develop emotional problems than those living with both parents, a report has found.

Young people whose mother and father split up are also three times as likely to become aggressive or badly behaved, according to the comprehensive survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics.

Living in a “reconstituted” family containing step-children or step-parents increased the risk of developing behavioural problems still further, it found.

The stark findings of the study, commissioned by the Department for Health and the Scottish Government, fly in the face of the Government’s repeated failure to extol the benefits on children of growing up in a traditional family home.

Under Labour, the number of couples getting married has fallen to the lowest level for more than a century while almost half of newlyweds are now expected to end up divorcing.

Yet Harriet Harman, the party’s deputy leader, insisted recently that “there is no ‘ideal’ parenting scenario” and “marriage has little relevance to public policy”.

The ONS report involved interviewing parents, teacher and children themselves to find out how many suffered emotional problems such as anxiety or depression, how many had “conduct disorders” such as aggression, and what the possible reasons behind them were.

After interviewing 5,364 children aged between five and 16 in 2004 and again last year, the researchers found that 3 per cent had developed problems over that time. In addition, 30 per cent who had emotional problems at the first survey, and 43 per cent who had behavioural issues, still had them three years later.

The researchers stressed they had not discovered any direct causes of emotional and behavioural problems developing or persisting in children, but agreed there was a link to living in a broken home.

Children whose parents had split up over the three years were 4.53 times more likely to develop emotional problems than those whose mothers and fathers stayed together, and were 2.87 times more likely to show the onset of behavioural disorders.

The report said: “The odds of developing an emotional disorder were increased for children where there had been a change in the number of parents between surveys, from two parents to one parent compared with children and young people in families that had two parents at both times.”

It went on: “Children and young people in households of ‘reconstituted’ families, particularly where there were step-children, were more likely to develop conduct disorder as were those in families which had two parents at Time 1 and one parent at Time 2.”

In addition, children whose mothers were mentally ill were found to be more likely to develop conduct disorders, as were those whose mothers were poorly educated.

Children who endured three stressful events such as seeing one’s parents divorce or appear in court, or suffering a serious disease or being badly injured, were three times as likely to develop emotional problems.

However those who were happy where they lived, had lots of friends or enjoyed activities outside school were less likely to become unhappy.

The report’s author, Nina Parry-Langdon, said: “If children belong to more clubs, it may offer some protection against getting a disorder in the future.”

Children in single-parent families more likely to suffer emotional problems, report finds – Telegraph.

Parental Alienation Syndrome: How to Detect It and What to Do About It « Fathers’ Rights

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, custody, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, education, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, judicial corruption, kidnapped children, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, 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, Sociopath on August 17, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Parental Alienation Syndrome: How to Detect It and What to Do About It

Posted by madcap on August 23, 2008

Over the past few weeks I have been doing research on Parental Alienation. For the past eight years my children have been victims of an Obsessed Alienation process perpetrated by their mother. I have been aware of this the whole time, but did not realize the severity and the depth of damage that was happening. I thought mom would be unsuccessful as long as I remained in my children’s lives. What I have been learning however, is that this is hardly ever the case. The power in immersing the children in an environment of “hate dad” is far too strong for children to overcome. In my case, the majority of the children’s time was spent in the Alienation environment.

This is one article that was of great assistance in helping me realize the severity of my own situation. I wish I would have sought a court order allowing me to take my children to counseling a long time ago.

http://thoughtsongod.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/parental-alienation-syndrome-how-to-detect-it-and-what-to-do-about-it/

THE FLORIDA BAR JOURNAL, VOL. 73, No. 3, MARCH 1999, p 44-48

Parental Alienation Syndrome:
How to Detect It and What to Do About It

by J. Michael Bone and Michael R. Walsh

Although parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is a familiar term, there is still a great deal of confusion and unclarity about its nature, dimensions, and, therefore, its detection.(1) Its presence, however, is unmistakable. In a longitudinal study of 700 “high conflict” divorce cases followed over 12 years, it was concluded that elements of PAS are present in the vast majority of the samples.(2) Diagnosis of PAS is reserved for mental health professionals who come to the court in the form of expert witnesses. Diagnostic hallmarks usually are couched in clinical terms that remain vague and open to interpretation and, therefore. susceptible to argument pro and con by opposing experts. The phenomenon of one parent turning the child against the other parent is not a complicated concept, but historically it has been difficult to identify clearly. Consequently, cases involving PAS are heavily litigated, filled with accusations and counter accusations, and thus leave the court with an endless search for details that eventually evaporate into nothing other than rank hearsay. It is our experience that the PAS phenomenon leaves a trail that can be identified more effectively by removing the accusation hysteria, and looking ahead in another positive direction.

For the purpose of this article the authors are assuming a fair degree of familiarity with parental alienation syndrome on the part of the reader.(3) There are many good writings on PAS which the reader may wish to consult now or in the future for general information. Our focus here is much more narrow. Specifically, the goal is twofold. First we will describe four very specific criteria that can be used to identify potential PAS. In most instances, these criteria can be identified through the facts of the case, but also can be revealed by deposition or court testimony. Secondly, we wish to introduce the concept of “attempted” PAS; that is when the criteria of PAS are present, but the child is not successfully alienated from the absent parent. This phenomenon is still quite harmful and the fact of children not being alienated should not be viewed as neutral by the court. Full Article:

3 Responses to “Parental Alienation Syndrome: How to Detect It and What to Do About It”

  1. hyposomnia said

    August 25, 2008 at 5:57 pm I can tell you that in some situations (though not many, I’ll give you) the perpetrator can easily be the father. I have been living it for the last year and unfortunately, my ex (like yours, it sounds) has a lot of connections/acquaintances – that is to say, he seems to know everybody – though he’s not close to many people – because when that happens, people figure him out.

    I’ve had to deal with threats of the children being taken, of him sending my step-daughter (who has lived with me for 8 years – only a few of which he has been around) overseas. He has contacted every member of my family in an attempt to turn them against me. He has contacted my employer in attempts to get me fired. He has contacted every member of the school faculty at the kids’ schools. Everytime I let my guard down – another attack is around the corner.

    My 6 year old comes home with new words and phrases that I supposedly am: not a Christian, gay – anything he can come up with.

    And the unfortunate thing is, I’ve tried to cooperate, to tell him I’m all for open visitation and I don’t want child support – but I think it’s really just a game to him. It’s not about the kids – it’s about if he wins or loses.

    http://hyposomnia.wordpress.com/2008/08/25/maturity_vs_instinct/

  2. Jackie Zeune said

    October 2, 2008 at 3:31 am My name is Jacqueline. I live in Powell Ohio with my soon to be ex-husband and my 5 year old son.
    Ray and I are going through a divorce. Ray has filed for a divorce and exclusive occupancy of our marital home
    as well as Residential and Custodial custody of our 5 year old son.

    In the past year my son has been brainwashed to a major degree against me by his father.
    Beginning with last year when Ray and i were seperated and I lived in another residence and we
    shared custody of our son.

    Ray exposed Garret to friends that spoke openly negative about me in front of the child.
    Ray exposed Garret to a church congregation and a pastor who spoke openly about personal
    issues regarding me in front of our (then 4) year old son.

    Garret has been fed negative words, thoughts etc regarding myself and my unwillingness to particpate in
    the church Ray has chosen to attend.
    The church is pastored by Reverend Leroy Jenkins. He is a preacher who has been in prison for over 10 years in his past. He practices faith healings.
    My son was told by his father that Reverend Jenkins parted a tornado around a tent revival and all in the tent were saved. My son is 5 and recounted that story to me as if he were present. (HE WAS NOT), he got angry with
    me when I told him i did not feel that the story was true.

    My son has been exposed to other females in our home and Garret is encouraged by his father to develop bonds
    and relationships with these females while many of their ages are under age 23. My husband is 53 years old.
    I am 41 years old.

    My sons father made a 57 minute video with a young girl age 22 encouraging my child to bond and have a full
    relationship with her. She has slept here in the home with my son. My husband financially supported this girl
    and gave her funds to fix her car, she did laundry here in the home all the while I was never even told of her exsistence. My first introduction to her was my sons father telling me my son wasnt coming for a scheduled visit with me because he wanted to stay and play with Dee. I had no idea who this person was or even that she had intimate exposure to my child at all.

    My son no longer wants me to read him a bed time story. He kicked and screamed and yelled i want daddy
    because I wanted to read him a night night story. His father stood and said nothing other then (Garret , Go get it over with and then Daddy will come and put you to bed and read to you).

    He no longer wants me to take him to school. He cried all the way to school when I wanted to take him.
    The morning of that incident Ray stood and argued with me in front of Garret about me taking my son to school until my son began to cry and my son was very upset while his dad never did comfort him or reassure him or
    give positive feedback for me taking him to school.

    Last Christmas although we were seperated and living in seperate homes, I included Garret’s father
    in Christmas am in my home and encouraged him to see his son open Christmas Gifts. Ray in turn refused me
    entry into his home to see Garret open gifts here at the marital home.

    Ray has allowed a 19 year old from Korea and his girlfriend to sleep together in front of my son and even
    with my insistence he refused to ask them to sleep seperate. My son questioned it to me and thats how
    i found out the girl had been living in the marital home with my son for almost a month.

    My son will not bath with the appropriate amount of water because his father has told him how much water he should use even when I am bathing him. (I bath him EVERY DAY).

    He will not answer direct questions about where he and his father have been without looking at his father before answering and in many cases he still will not answer.

    I am gravely concerned for my son and If Ray is able to achieve this level of Alienation with Garret while I am in the home what will be the results of my sons mental health if Ray is success ful in removing me from the home and from my child.

    I continue to love and offer my child a safe, loving environment however he will not receive me as a parent.

    can you please help me, offer me some assistance or guide me to an appropriate place before my son
    becomes damaged mentally long term.

    thank you
    Jacqueline

  3. December 21, 2008 at 9:40 pm […] Parental Alienation Syndrome: How to Detect It and What to Do About It […]

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The War Against Family

In Activism, Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, Children and Domestic Violence, children criminals, Childrens Rights, Christian, Civil Rights, CPS, deadbeat dads, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, due process rights, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Feminism, Foster CAre Abuse, Homosexual Agenda, Liberty, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping, Parental Relocation, Parental Rights Amendment, Parentectomy, Parents rights, Restraining Orders on August 1, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Why to fight it—how to win it! By Joel Hilliker and Stephen Flurry

We are at war.

The very foundation of stability and strength in the United States and Britain, the traditional family, is being formidably attacked from every direction.

Just look at the carnage. Fewer people are marrying. Those who do marry are more prone to split up. Roles within marriage and family are reversed. Adultery is increasingly common. Same-sex “marriage” is being written into law. Clearly, marriage is on the ropes.

Four in 10 American children are born to unwed parents. Children are likelier than ever to grow up without one of their biological parents. They live in households where rebellion and disrespect are tolerated, even encouraged. Fornication is nearly universal. Pornography has gone mainstream. Unwed pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases are at all-time highs. A million American babies are aborted every year. Family is in full retreat.

Yes, there is a war raging in households across America and throughout the once-mighty United Kingdom. After decades of surrendering ground to a violent and fanatical enemy, what once was a solid family structure is now struggling for survival.

If you don’t rigorously engage the fight, you and your family will be among its casualties. You have already suffered from it more than you probably realize.

To successfully resist this dangerous trend, you need to see it clearly—and recognize the unseen force motivating it! Who is behind this war, and why? You must also understand just why it is so deadly.

Can it be stopped? You need specific strategies for combating it.

Families Upside-Down

In his book Democracy in America, published in the 1800s, Alexis de Tocqueville heaped praise on the 19th-century American family. “There is certainly no country in the world where the tie of marriage is more respected than in America,” Tocqueville wrote, “or where conjugal happiness is more highly or worthily appreciated.”

Today, society-wide immorality, upside-down families and no-fault divorce laws have turned the marriage institution into an almost laughably inconsequential arrangement. Sixty-two percent of Americans view divorce as a “morally acceptable” way to escape an inconvenient union.

We’ve not only accepted the plague of divorce. Many now see it as the morally right thing to do in most circumstances.

Those marriages that remain intact often suffer from other curses, like sexual dissatisfaction, financial woes and role confusion.

Tocqueville lauded the 19th-century American family for accentuating the “diverse” roles men and women undertook in marriage. “They have carefully separated the functions of man and of woman so that the great work of society may be better performed,” he said. The roles of husband and wife, he explained, perfectly complemented one another. “You will never find American women,” Tocqueville wrote, “in charge of the external relations of the family, managing a business or interfering in politics; but they are also never obliged to undertake rough laborer’s work or any task requiring hard physical exertion. No family is so poor that it makes an exception to this rule.”

Of course, the way marriage and family was arranged back then was much closer to the way God designed it from the very beginning. In Genesis 2, God organized mankind’s first family by making the man first and then creating the woman out of his rib. In verse 18, He called the woman a “help meet,” meaning opposite or counterpart.

According to Tocqueville, Americans understood that while men and women were made to fulfill different roles within the family hierarchy, each role was equal in importance.

Today, these unique roles have been reversed. Men have forsaken their responsibilities in the home as the family’s primary leader, provider, protector and educator. A growing number of wives (and children) simply miss out on the positive impact an involved father has on the family.

Making matters worse, a deafening chorus of politicians, activists, psychologists and entertainers maintain that husbands and fathers are unnecessary for the overall health and well-being of society.

Wives, meanwhile, have largely abandoned their most important duties at home—being a supportive helpmeet and loving mother. In 1950, for example, one in four married women between the ages of 25 and 44 were employed outside the home. Today, three in four are. While the hours that men and single women work are roughly the same as they were 50 years ago, married women’s hours working outside the home have tripled. Caring for children while Dad is at work is no longer the primary responsibility for most mothers.

As a consequence, children are largely left to themselves—growing up without proper, godly direction or a clear code of ethics upon which they can build their future families.

Targeting Children

Without a strong parental influence at home, children have become easy targets for evil forces—particularly regarding sex. Most Americans and Britons have now accepted premarital sex as inevitable for teens, which is why the primary focus for government-sponsored sex education is on teaching young people to be “safe” once they become sexually active. This approach, of course, encourages sexual activity among teens, which in turn increases the frequency of illegitimate births, sexually transmitted diseases and abortion.

In July, the level of sexual depravity reached a new low in Britain when the National Health Service produced a sex education pamphlet for schoolchildren. According to the Daily Mail, the publication complained that when it comes to sex, sociologists pay too much attention to “safe sex” and “loving relationships” and not enough to the subject of sensual pleasure. Teenagers, says the pamphlet’s author, have as much right to a good sex life as do adults.

Britain, it should be noted, has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Europe and second highest in the developed world, trailing only the United States. Of the 40,000 British girls who will be impregnated this year, half will opt for abortion (article, page 37).

The Homosexual Agenda

Sociologists aren’t the only ones working overtime to undermine the traditional family in Britain—political leaders are too. This past summer, British Conservative Party leader David Cameron issued an apology on behalf of his party for legislation passed in 1988 banning the promotion of homosexuality in schools. Known as “Section 28,” the law was introduced by then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and was repealed by Tony Blair in 2003. For 15 years, the bill banned local councils from using taxpayer money to fund anything that showed homosexual relationships as normal, and made promoting “the teaching … of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship” illegal in schools.

Conservative mp Dame Jill Knight, one of the main supporters of Section 28 back in the ’80s, spoke in 1999 about why the law had been introduced: “Parents certainly came to me and told me what was going on. They gave me some of the books with which little children as young as 5 and 6 were being taught. There was The Playbook for Kids About Sex in which brightly colored pictures of little stick men showed all about homosexuality and how it was done.”

Britain’s leading “conservative” politician has now apologized for his nation having ever banned such perversity.

Not to be outdone, the Labor Party is also working diligently to woo homosexual voters. Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently hosted leading homosexual advocates at his house on Downing Street. “I’m very proud of all that this government has achieved on lgbt [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] rights these last 12 years—often in the face of fierce opposition,” Mr. Brown said.

In America, President Barack Obama also played host to a large gathering of homosexuals at the White House on June 29. He had proclaimed June as “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month” to commemorate the 40-year anniversary of the lgbt rights movement in America. This struggle, Obama told more than 250 homosexuals at the White House reception, is “incredibly difficult.”

“There are unjust laws to overturn and unfair practices to stop,” he continued. “And though we’ve made progress, there are still fellow citizens, perhaps neighbors or even family members and loved ones, who still hold fast to worn arguments and old attitudes; who fail to see your families like their families; and who would deny you the rights that most Americans take for granted” (emphasis ours throughout).

He thinks we still have a long way to go. But just imagine what defenders of more traditional family values from generations ago would think about where we are today!

According to the New York Times, the first time homosexual leaders were even invited to the White House was in 1977. And in that instance, President Carter skipped the meeting and sent a mid-level aide instead.

What a difference 30 years makes. Today, Britain’s National Health Service, of all institutions, encourages teenagers to enjoy promiscuous sex. The leading “conservative” in Britain is apologizing for a 1988 law that prevented homosexual propaganda from being poured into the super-absorbent minds of 5-year-olds. The White House is hosting celebrations for homosexuals, bisexuals and transgenders. And we have a U.S. president who sees it as his duty to change the minds of Americans who still have “old attitudes” about homosexuality.

Truly, the most basic building block of a strong and stable civilization—the traditional family structure—is suffering attack from every direction. And sadly, as traditional family life crumbles, movies, television and popular songs glorify the dysfunction.

Sign of the Times

Herbert W. Armstrong recognized this war on the institution of family decades ago—and accurately predicted where it would lead. The threat, he wrote in 1976, was twofold. First, there is the prophesied breakdown of traditional marriage and family relationships. Added to that, he continued, “there is a widespread and aggressive conspiracy to destroy the institution of marriage” (Plain Truth, July 1976).

As alarmist as that might have seemed in 1976, who can deny it today?

“This is a war which is being vigorously and fanatically waged,” Mr. Armstrong wrote. “Every subtle method is being employed to capture the minds of those of pre-marriage age.” Clearly, those minds were captured. Now they are 33 years older and, trapped in their own ignorance and error, have raised another generation even more deceived about marriage and family.

Most people have followed blindly along with the trend. But even among those who recognize it as a destructive drift that should be resisted, few understand just why it is happening and what is so wrong with it!

Why such a vicious assault on marriage and family? Why is the downward trend so rapid?

There is an unseen spiritual reason!

True, as Mr. Armstrong said, the breakdown of traditional marriage and family relationships was prophesied. In fact, it was a sign the biblical prophets gave of the last days—the days right before Jesus Christ’s Second Coming.

Everything about our modern-day dysfunctional society is exactly as the Prophet Isaiah said it would be: with women ruling the homes, children oppressing society and behaving arrogantly against their elders, and people parading the most heinous of their sins with pride (Isaiah 3:12, 5, 9). The Apostle Paul prophesied of our epidemic selfishness, preoccupation with material things, disobedient children, loss of natural familial affection (such as is manifest in the appalling abortion rate), and other rampant problems (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Christ Himself foretold that just before His return to this Earth in power and glory, our sophisticated, ultra-modern, anti-God society would revert back to the way it was in the days of Sodom and Gomorrah (Luke 17:28-30).

Compelling evidence that we are indeed living in the very last days!

Civilization, as Mr. Armstrong wrote in The Missing Dimension in Sex, is on the way down and out—except that God prophesied to intervene with a mighty hand to save us from utter destruction!

But the question yet remains: Why is mankind following this destructive course? Who is behind it? How did God know this is the road we would travel? And how can we resist this trend and win this war in our own homes?

The answers have everything to do with why God created marriage and family in the first place.

God Created Man

Did you realize that marriage and family are institutions unique to human beings among all of God’s creation?

That’s right. No other animal on Earth—in fact, not even any of the angelic beings that God created—was meant to enjoy the blessings of family life! Marriage and family relationships are utterly unique to us. Do you know why?

In the first chapter of the Bible, you see God adorning the Earth with all manner of plant and animal life, creating conditions ideal for human beings. It then informs us, “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness …. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them” (Genesis 1:26-27). There is much to note in these pivotal verses.

First, who is this “us”? Scripture shows that there were in fact two Beings here, members of the one Godhead (see, for example, John 1:1, 14). These two later became a Family—when the Most High God begat Jesus Christ in the womb of the virgin Mary. At that point they became Father and Son.

What does it mean that mankind was created after God’s likeness, in God’s image? It means that we look like God, and that we are meant to be fashioned after His very own perfect character. That is because He has implanted within us an incredible potential far greater than that given to anything else He has created!

Finally, why did God create male and female? Clearly, He made the conscious decision to divide us into these two groups. In His design, family begins with the joining of a man and woman—though science is working to eliminate this inevitability. Sex is not an accident of evolution, nor an arbitrary ornament on creation, but a conscious, deliberate choice with design and intent made by a super-intelligent Creator!

The relentless drive over the past half century in particular to equalize the sexes has completely obscured and destroyed the very deep and important reasons for God’s creative implementation of sex differences. Homosexuality, in effect, treats this essential component of creation as if it were mere decoration—even a mistake on God’s part. But are you willing to consider the reasoning, the logic, in His decision? This God who reveals Himself in the Bible claims that His thoughts are higher than your thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).

Why Marriage and Family?

In the next chapter in Genesis comes the truth that God created Eve as a “help meet” for Adam, and bound these two for life within the unique institution of marriage.

Again, why? Look at the animals and you can see that marriage is not necessary for procreation. Animals may exhibit a certain loyalty to certain other animals, but only humans have the multifaceted emotional and legal relationships associated with marriage and family.

Until a few generations ago, the concept of marriage and family was taken for granted—generally accepted as desirable—a means of rearing responsible children and producing a stable society. However, even then the deep understanding of why marriage was widely unknown.

Why? Because this is fundamentally spiritual knowledge!

Marriage is not a mere tradition. It is actually a sacred institution, established by God at the creation of humankind! It was created for specific purposes and designed to function according to definite laws. God also created our anatomies so that this two-person relationship is what generates children. He designed human development to occur slowly in order to make family life necessary: Children are completely dependent upon their parents, and parents must love, nurture, protect, educate and discipline their children.

God intended these covenant relationships to bring stability into our lives, to teach us faithfulness and loyalty, and to give us the opportunity to learn to live unselfishly with others as a harmonious team.

God could have made us all alike, never established marriage, provided some other means of reproduction, had us born with fully developed bodies and minds. He could have done things any number of other ways. But He did it this way for a reason.

Why? To one who doesn’t understand God’s purpose for mankind, it might seem somewhat arbitrary. Why male and female? Why marriage? Why do we reproduce through sex? Why children? Why family?

But the answer is clear to anyone who understands the truth revealed in the Bible but not generally understood—that of the incredible human potential.

The way God designed male, female, marriage and children, the family unit naturally creates a government structure patterned after the God Family pattern.

God designed all of these things the way He did to prepare us for eternal life in His Family!

The truth of this reality far surpasses the insipid view of an afterlife spent sitting on a cloud strumming a harp. God is about to establish a Kingdom, here on Earth, ruling all nations, with literal positions of king-priesthood to be filled by human beings transformed into Spirit-born members of the God Family! (Request our book The Incredible Human Potential for a thorough biblical explanation of this truth.)

This is why the human family is so critical in God’s mind. We need family, as God designed it, in order to really prepare for positions in God’s Family! Done right, marriage is intended to teach spiritual lessons about the God Family (e.g. Ephesians 5:31-33). A child growing up in a godly family learns spiritual lessons. In other words, if a family is run as God intended it, there are God-plane dynamics at work—living lessons in God’s government and family love!

Behind the Anti-Family Front

It is true that not being in such a family does not in any way disqualify someone from God’s Kingdom. However, they still must learn deeply about why marriage and why family.

To take it upon ourselves to redefine what a family is, to spurn God’s standard and set up our own, to presume that our ideas which are totally contrary to God’s are in fact superior in design and in the results they produce—this is the height of both arrogance and folly!

Yes, there is a war being waged over marriage and family. On one side are those trying to preserve God’s design; on the other are those trying to destroy God’s design!

Marriage and family have everything to do with the gospel of God—which is the good news of the coming Family of God. This is why it is so important to God. “Adultery, fornication, masturbation, homosexuality are so colossally sinful because they violate, pollute, profane and destroy something so holy and so monumentally righteous in God’s sight!” (Herbert W. Armstrong, The Missing Dimension in Sex).

The true force motivating the anti-family front is a spirit being, revealed in Scripture, who was never offered the opportunity to be in God’s Family (our free book Mystery of the Ages explains this truth). He was never given the creative power to reproduce himself. He hates family and wants to blot it out forever! This is the adversary—Satan the devil—who first deceived Eve into turning against God (Genesis 3:1-6) and has since deceived the whole world (Revelation 12:9). He is bent on nothing less than the destruction of humanity.

Satan seeks the complete destruction of family. He knows that by destroying families, he can destroy nations and can blind people to the simple, hope-filled truth of God—so he is doing everything he can to devastate that God-plane relationship!

Truly, we are witnessing a titanic war over marriage and family. But God is not going to lose this war!

God’s Solution

God created humankind in His own image and likeness—to be productive, noble and free—to grow in godly character through the rich experiences and responsibilities of family life—to, ultimately, gain entrance into His own Family.

The anti-family agenda breaks down character, tramples on that potential, and destroys the family vision of God. But in our sophistication, that is considered good! What God esteems, men scorn—and what men exalt, God calls an abomination!

Thus, God thunders this message to our modern world: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight!” (Isaiah 5:20-21).

Yes—woe! Track the prophecies of our family breakdown—of our upside-down marriages, of our lust-filled, adulterous culture, of our failure to govern our children, of our return to the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah—and you will see that God also promises to forcibly correct those problems!

Peter, the chief apostle, spoke of the anti-family history of Sodom and Gomorrah as a prophecy. God turned those cities “into ashes,” and in so doing He made them “an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly” (2 Peter 2:6). The epistle of Jude speaks of these two cities as suffering the “vengeance of eternal fire.” Jude wrote that God set them forth as an example for our day!

These men were warning that any people getting caught up in those sins should expect the same end! When you live in cities polluted like Sodom and Gomorrah, look out—they are about to be destroyed by fire!—this time, likely in the form of nuclear bombs and other modern means. It is probably the strongest warning example in the Bible!

This is not an outdated Old Testament story—it is New Testament doctrine. Christ Himself prophesied that in the last days, evil conditions would again warrant the cataclysmic destruction that Sodom faced (Luke 17:28-30). He warned about destruction so thorough that unless He personally intervened, no flesh would be saved alive (Matthew 24:22).

Jesus also reminded us of Noah’s day, saying, “And as it was in the days of [Noah], so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that [Noah] entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all” (Luke 17:26-27). Obviously God doesn’t condemn eating or drinking; nor does He condemn marrying and giving in marriage. This is a prophecy of a society whose behavior in these areas has careened completely offtrack! It is speaking of the horrific effects of today’s war on family!

And God says that, just as He left Sodom and Gomorrah in ashes, and just as He inflicted worldwide destruction in Noah’s time, He is about to destroy today’s sin-sick world.

But the prophecies do not end in that destruction. They end in hope! And it is there that we find the solutions we seek—solid answers on how to win this war on family in our own homes, even today.

The Answer Is Family

Once God brings a swift, decisive end to the anti-family trends, He will begin to set things right. And do you know how He will do so?

By educating mankind in and implementing the same family law that He put in place from the beginning!

When He establishes His Kingdom after Jesus Christ’s return, family will be restored to its rightful place at the heart of civilization. Christ will marry His bride, the Church (Revelation 19:7). That blissfully perfect marriage will set the example for marriages throughout the Earth. “Thus saith the Lord; Again there shall be heard … in the cities of Judah, and in the streets of Jerusalem, that are desolate … The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the Lord of hosts: for the Lord is good; for his mercy endureth for ever …” (Jeremiah 33:10-11).

Children will no longer oppress their elders. They will be taught respect, and everyone will be the happier for it. “Thus saith the Lord of hosts; There shall yet old men and old women dwell in the streets of Jerusalem, and every man with his staff in his hand for very age. And the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in the streets thereof” (Zechariah 8:4-5).

These are the wonderful effects that implementing God’s law will produce. Among these laws are those governing the marital roles (e.g. Ephesians 5:29-33; 1 Timothy 5:8), the safeguarding of sex within the marital relationship (e.g. Exodus 20:14, 17), and the lifelong nature of the arrangement (Luke 16:18; 1 Corinthians 7:39). Also among them are the laws and principles governing the parent-child relationship (e.g. Exodus 20:12; Deuteronomy 6:6-7) and establishing godly government and order in the home.

Those laws are as absolute as the physical laws governing the universe. When they are broken, unhappiness and dissatisfaction result—as our sick society amply proves.

But when they are kept—when they are taught, cherished and obeyed—everyone benefits!

This is how—even today—you can successfully fight the war on family. Study and obey God’s basic spiritual laws governing the family! Even if one lacks the spiritual understanding of their spiritual purposes, keeping those laws—set in inexorable motion by the Creator of marriage, family and all that exists—will bring stability, harmony, happiness and peace into your own home.

God is a Family! He created the physical family as a means to introduce us into His Family! What is more beautiful than a strong, godly family? We must learn the beauty of family. That is where the excitement is. Once you understand God’s purpose, it is clear that real hope comes through the family—as God designed it! What it leads into boggles the mind!

We can be thankful to God that His supernatural intervention in the affairs of mankind, as prophesied in hundreds of biblical passages, is now just ahead of us. In the not-too-distant future, the world-ruling Family of God will vigorously teach all of mankind the just and holy laws He always intended to govern the sacred institutions of marriage and family!

Our free booklet Why Marriage!—Soon Obsolete? gives a stirring explanation of the reasons for marriage and family. The Missing Dimension in Sex goes further into the God-ordained purposes for sex. The Incredible Human Potential explains in hope-filled detail the inspiring future these institutions are intended to prepare us for. You need this knowledge! You need the genuine hope that comes from a deep understanding of this beautiful, inspiring subject.

The War Against Family | theTrumpet.com.

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

Families – The True Strength of America

In Child Custody, Child Support, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fatherlessness, fathers rights, Feminism, Foster CAre Abuse, Freedom, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Marriage, motherlessness, mothers rights, National Parents Day, Non-custodial fathers, Non-custodial mothers, parental alienation, Parental Alienation Syndrome, Parental Kidnapping on July 20, 2009 at 10:23 pm

Families – The True Strength of America
Copyright © by Ron Ewart
July 2009

The glue that binds us all together is the bond forged in families – husband, wife and children. It is a powerful bond, held together by love, mutual respect and a large dose of pre-programmed genetics.

The saying that “blood is thicker than water” gets its’ roots from the bond of family. Families are the natural order of life on this planet, at least for most mammals, but it is especially true for the human mammal.

The character of family for we humans is several orders of magnitude above our other earthly creatures and considerably more complex. Being complex, it leads to more complex problems that require resolution.

Sure, family life is more complicated now than it was before, with both parents working to maintain their lifestyle and a schedule for children with education and ancillary activities that has gone way beyond what we used to do in the 1940’s and 50’s with sand-lot baseball and kick-the-can, sans television.

And yes, our adopted contemporary lifestyle has weakened the bond of family a little and increased the complexity of daily life, but still our families survive and thrive, in spite of that lifestyle. Yes, our new lifestyle has fractured the family some and divorce rates are up, but even with the added strain, over 50% of families still stay together.

We need to work a little harder on getting the number of stay-together families higher and we will. But all things tend to run in cycles and it takes time to adapt to rapidly changing technology and the rapid pace of our lives.

We fully expect the divorce rates will go down some in the future, as our adaptation increases.

Raising children in this environment is not easy, but when has raising children ever been easy?

Still, the joy that children bring adults, or each other, is incalculable. The birth of newborns, babies first step or first word, joy during the holidays, the elation and pride that comes from achievements in school or sports, the first date, marriage and its promise ….. all difficult sometimes, but all very worthwhile in the cycle of life.

In spite of these conditions that shake the very fibers of the nuclear family, those fibers and that bond are the true strength of America.

Responsible families produce the current and next generation of thinkers, intellectuals, hard workers, producers, consumers and pray-ers. Some lose and some win, but most who lose pick themselves up again and get back in the game …. sometimes all by themselves, sometimes with the help of family and sometimes in spite of family.

That bond of family is even stronger under the umbrella of freedom and it is that bond that will allow Americans to hold onto their freedom. The job of preserving freedom must start at the family level. It must start with teaching our kids about the foundations of freedom and liberty in America.

Our children are not being taught the great history of America in our schools and why we have become the most powerful nation on Earth, but also the wealthiest, the most creative, industrious, ingenious and the most generous.

Many adults who grew up in the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and now in the first decade of the 21st Century, haven’t learned and aren’t learning it either.

The fact is, America is a “Constitutional Republic”, (see definitions below) which means that the minority is protected from the majority (mob rule) by the rule of law under the Supreme Law of the Land, our Constitution.

Because of the current massive attempts by all levels of our government (especially the federal government) to rule every aspect of our lives, our constitution is being torn asunder by the day and yet it is the only document that stands between us and socialism, communism, fascism, a dictator, or outright anarchy.

It is the ultimate responsibility of the parents in the family to pass on the heritage of freedom and liberty to their children, even if our public school system isn’t doing it. It is the family’s responsibility to teach their children about the documents that established that freedom and how important it is to preserve, protect and defend those documents.

In the end, the preservation of freedom lies with each individual but each individual’s drive to preserve freedom is best nourished in the safe environment of a loving family. It is up to the parents of the family to initiate the conversations about freedom and our founding documents. It is up to the parents to show their children the rich heritage of this great nation and learn about those who sacrificed so much that we might live free.

With most families having one or more computers and access to the Internet, the information about America is literally at the family’s finger tips. Talk about these issues when you gather together for holidays. But the most effective environment to discuss America, is right at the dinner table when all are gathered to share the evening meal.

President Reagan stated that “freedom is only one generation away from extinction.”

If Americans care about the preservation of our liberty and American sovereignty, they must teach their children about freedom, so that it is carried on from generation to generation, or freedom will die and our culture of liberty and our very sovereignty will be absorbed into the one-world-order without a shot being fired. America will become but a footnote in some history book that will improperly paint America as some strange anomaly that could have never lasted very long anyway.

Americans need to do everything in their power to see that that footnote is never written.

Losing is not an option.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Constitutional Republic: “….. is a state where the head of state and other officials are elected as representatives of the people, and must govern according to existing constitutional law that limits the government’s power over citizens. In a constitutional republic, executive, legislative, and judicial powers are separated into distinct branches and the will of the majority of the population is tempered by protections for individual rights so that no individual or group has absolute power. The fact that a constitution exists that limits the government’s power makes the state constitutional. That the head(s) of state and other officials are chosen by election, rather than inheriting their positions, and that their decisions are subject to judicial review makes a state republican.”

A True Democracy: “….. where the majority has the ultimate say in all things ….. essentially mob rule.”

Ron Ewart, President
NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF RURAL LANDOWNERS
P. O. Box 1031, Issaquah, WA 98027
425 222-4742 or 1 800 682-7848
(Fax No. 425 222-4743)
Website: www.narlo.org

Families – The True Strength of America.

Feminism, Fatherhood, and the Lance Armstrong Fallacy

In Alienation of Affection, Best Interest of the Child, Child Custody, Child Support, children legal status, children's behaviour, Childrens Rights, Civil Rights, CPS, Department of Social Servies, Divorce, Domestic Relations, Domestic Violence, family court, Family Court Reform, Family Rights, fathers rights, federal crimes, Feminism, Liberty, 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 on June 30, 2009 at 11:51 pm

Feminism, Fatherhood, and the Lance Armstrong Fallacy
Paul Coughlin
Author of “No More Christian Nice Guy”

My book No More Christian Nice Guy alerted America that boys are falling behind in school and that this problem is a silent epidemic. Little did I know that within a few months after its release how some of the largest names in media would pick up this problem and run with it. But what I did predict was the radical feminist response, and how they would attempt to put this problem into “perspective.”

Soon after Newsweek’s recent cover story about the boy crisis in education came Salon.com’s article “The campus crusade for guys.” Then Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, weighed in with “Biology’s Revenge.” The Weekly Standard had its say as well. Among the most troubling statistics: 58 percent of first-year college students are female. Because male students are more likely to drop out, their share will shrink to 40 percent by graduation.

One of the main reasons for this crisis, wrote Newsweek, is the lack of father figures in the lives of too many drop-out boys. “An adolescent boy without a father figure is like an explorer without a map.” Donald Miller, author of the bestselling Blue Like Jazz, writes about his difficult life without a father in his new release To Own a Dragon. He says the percentage of dropouts, youth suicides, homeless teenagers and young men in prison who come from fatherless homes is staggering. “It makes you wonder if just having a Dad around, just by being there, reading the paper in the morning and smoking cigars at poker with his friends and having him read to us a story at night, you and I were supposed to understand something, some idea God in heaven wanted to offer us as a gift.”

Feminist Professor Peggy Drexler, author of the anti-father Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men, claims that no such gift exists. Soon after Newsweek’s article hit, she wrote, “I wonder what mothers like Lance Armstrong’s make of such statements” that claim boys without a father figure are lost. “The assumption that ‘masculine’ qualities can be imparted only by men undermines the success of millions of mothers who are fully capable of raising thriving, emotionally healthy, masculine sons without a man around. Linda Armstrong raised Lance on her own and did quite well.”

This is where Drexler, like the body of her work, hyper-extends and hyper-ventilates. I used to race bicycles, shaved legs and all, and I still might in the future if my schedule ever slows down (not likely). I’ve won a few as a low-level racer, yet my best race was when I took third. There’s something about a road bike that makes me feel alive.

So I keep an eye on Lance and I’m amazed by his abilities, especially his cadence and lightness on the pedals as he flies up mountains. I’m also familiar with his background, apparently more so than Drexler. Young Lance Armstrong was not “emotionally healthy.” He was, by his own admission, a lost and angry young jerk. Two trainers, Chris Charmichael and Johann Bruyneel, took him under their paternal wing and coaxed stellar talent out of his troubled body and soul. Eddy Merckx, perhaps the greatest cyclist ever, was also a huge influence in Lance’s life. When others abandoned him professionally, his agent Ken Stapleton stayed by his side.

And it was another racer who, seeing young, brash, angry Lance in a field sprint with him near the finish line, who taught Lance a lesson in humility that he never forgot. The well-respected racer hit his brakes because he did not want to appear on the same podium as troubled Armstrong. This man gave up money and fame to distance himself from a young racer whose emotional immaturity and reckless disregard earned him a growing list of detractors who rightly complained that Armstrong did not know how to win well or live well.

He was not always the good ambassador of one of the world’s most incredible sports that he is today. It took the intervention of some big souls to make that happen.

Notice the gender of all these influential people, the ones Drexler ignores?

I’m not going to commit a similar Drexler fallacy and undermine the love and direction of women in general and Linda Armstrong in particular. One should not return bigotry for bigotry. I’m saying all this to put the real life of Armstrong and men in general in perspective. A mother’s love and nurturing is a gift from God. Ask any man who didn’t get it and they’ll tell you. The same is true for the unique characteristic of men. Though Drexler ignores them, Armstrong gives these pivotal men plenty of credit.

And of course a man’s unique presence, like a woman’s, doesn’t just bless boys either. Wrote Toni Morrison, Nobel-prize winning novelist. “I am a great writer because when I was a little girl and walked into a room where my father was sitting, his eyes would light up. That is why I am a great writer. That is why. There isn’t any other reason.”

Drexler is right to point out the benefits of good mothering, which is an important encouragement in the lives of so many women, especially heroic single mothers. But she uses this vital role to wage war against another vital role: the blessings of paternity. Armstrong is fortunate that he grew up during a time when Drexler’s views were contained to the radical fringe of college campuses instead of in best-selling books. Today’s troubled boys are not so fortunate. Those who take the Good Guy Rebellion seriously will correct her kind of anti-male bias wherever they find it.


Paul Coughlin is the author of No More Christian Nice Guy and a soon to be released companion Study Guide. He and his wife Sandy are the authors of Married But Not Engaged: Why Men Check Out and What You Can Do to Create The Intimacy You Desire, due out in July from Bethany House. Visit him online at Christianniceguy.com
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