Victim of the Scam

Is Opposition to or Support of Dr. Richard Warshak’s Censorship of Comments on his “Parental Alienation” Huffington Post Article Part of a Gender War?

In Corrupt bastards, Domestic Violence, Dr Richard Warshak, Dr. Peter Jaffe, Dr. William Bernet, DSM-V, Parental Alienation, Parental Alienation Disorder, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome on November 25, 2010 at 2:14 am

 

Claudine Dombrowski, after being beaten and raped by ex-husband Hal Richardson, one of many attacks by him, was accused of "parental alienation."

 

Prominent psychologists and psychiatrists have debunked the use of “parental alienation” in child custody cases.  So have many professional organizations, such as the American Bar Association, the American Judges Association, the National District Attorney’s Association, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, with the latter warning family court judges against accepting claims of “parental alienation” or “parental alienation syndrome” in child custody cases because of it’s well know use by abusers to gain child custody from their victims.  Notice in their warning (on pages 12 – 13 in their guide) there is no mention of abusive, evil fathers or battered, victimized mothers.   No, when the charge of gender wars or bias comes up, it is generally from the men’s rights or father’s rights activists, who often promote this junk science.

Recently there was a child custody case in Canada I like to refer to often.  This is a case in which Dr. Richard Warshak was involved in, where one of the parents made a claim of “parental alienation” against the other parent who had physical custody of their two teenaged boys.  Dr. Warshak had only spoke to the parent claiming “parental alienation” and not to the other parent.  He hadn’t even talked to the two boys when he made the recommendation to the court that the boys should come to his Texas “treatment” facility for reprogramming, at the cost of $40,000 for the four day program.  It was so ordered by the court, but was overturned by appeal because of the fact that Dr. Warshak hadn’t even talked to the boys beforehand.  It was a nice chance for him to pick up a quick $40,000 for what had been called “quack treatment” by one of Canada’s leading child psychologists, Dr. Peter Jaffe.  Oh…did I mention that the parent claiming “parental alienation” was the mother?

What about California father Jayraj Nair, who was accused of “parental alienation” by Dr. Janelle Burrill, who recently had her board certification revoked and is under investigation by the State of California?  Mr. Nair hasn’t seen his son in about a year and a half…which is often what happens in these “parental alienation” cases.  The child is the one who suffers the most in these situations, and the corrupt psychologists make lots of money.

In the view of domestic violence advocates and the professional organizations listed above, claims of “parental alienation” in child custody cases are not about gender, but about abusive claims that are typically leveled at the other parent which seek to strip that parent of custody, often being successful at cutting off contact totally between the accused parent and their children.  Most of the time, the heart of the matter leads to the court disregarding domestic violence and/or not listening to or believing the children in the case.  As a matter of fact, in Dr. William Bernet’s proposal to the committee in charge of updating the DSM-V, Dr. Bernet states that one of the criteria that may indicate “parental alienation disorder” is that a child is an “independent thinker.”  Really.  If a child has decided he is afraid of being with a parent, and has independently decided this on his own, he may have “parental alienation disorder.”  Bruises, ripped hymens, broken bones optional I guess.

But back to the gender war issue.  Robert Franklin, of Fathers & Families, published the article below about that Canadian case last year and I felt like hell had just frozen over.  Why was a men’s rights advocate suddenly questioning the use of “parental alienation” in this case which Dr. Richard Warshak was in?  Was it because it was a father that was on the receiving end?  They certainly did a 180 degree turnabout in their views of “parental alienation” in child custody cases.  Yet, I have not heard of any turnabouts from DV advocates or the professional organizations on their views of “parental alienation.”  Just where are the “gender war” claims coming from then?  Just look through the comments that Dr. Warshak has allowed to be posted under his Huffington Post article and you’ll get the idea.

Now for Robert Franklin’s article:

From Men’s Daily News:

Eight Year Custody Battle Ends With Handshakes and Some Good Questions

By Robert Franklin, Esq. | May 5, 2009

This is an interesting case out of Canada and it puts a wrinkle into the PAS debate that I think needs attention (The Globe and Mail, 4/27/09).

It’s a case I’ve written about before and that has been pretty high-profile in the Canadian press.  Basically, it involves a divorced couple with three sons, the oldest of whom is 18.  The parents fought so bitterly over the children with allegations of parental alienation on each side, that eventually the 18-year-old filed a motion to intervene in the case which requested that custody of his two younger brothers be awarded to him.

To my surprise, the court granted his motion, and lo and behold once it did, the parents started making nice with the boys and with each other.  I don’t know if the young man realizes it or not, but from here it looks like his successful intervention scared his parents into some semblance of reasonable behavior.  My guess is that they realized that their eight-year legal donnybrook could have ended with both of them losers.  P.F., the 18-year-old, said, “My dad came up and shook my mom’s hand.  That was something I hadn’t seen in a very long time.  It was generally a very happy situation.”

In all this, P.F. looks like the only responsible adult.  And in that capacity, I think we ought to listen to what he has to say about his experiences in family court.

First, he’s not a bit happy with the experts in the case.  He feels strongly that they had theories to peddle and they were going to do so regardless of the realities of the case.  They became advocates for PAS rather than impartial assessors of parental and adolescent behavior.

P.F. adds that children should be listened to in family courts.  In most states in the United States, they are, at least once they’ve reached a certain age.  In Texas, by the time a child reaches the age of 14, he/she can pretty much pick which parent to live with.  Absent unusual circumstances, the court will honor the child’s wishes regarding custody.  Maybe that’s not true in Canada.  Here’s an article that sketches the basics of what happens when a child expresses a preference for one parent over the other (The State, 4/28/09).

But the interesting wrinkle P.F. puts on the issue of PAS allegations is that once an expert gives evidence of PAS, the court tends to ignore what the child has to say, apparently believing alienation to be an established fact.  That places the judge in the difficult position of figuring out whether the child’s testimony is PAS-tainted or the real thing.

And how to solve that problem, I’m not sure.  My guess is that what is and is not true about PAS can be seen, particularly in young children, with a little education from psychologists and social workers.  But determining what is the legitimate wish of a child and what is the wish of an alienated child will be, in many cases, tough to do.

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