Victim of the Scam

Archive for the ‘Dr. William Bernet’ Category

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.

Children’s Exposure to Violence

In Domestic Violence, Dr. William Bernet, DSM-V, Parental Alienation, Parental Alienation Disorder, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome on October 17, 2010 at 11:19 am

Children’s exposure to violence…as protective parents, we understand the harm that comes from this.  As a childhood victim who watched my mother abused by my father, only to end up in his custody, it amplifies this understanding.  Until judges, co-parenting counselors, guardians ad litem, custody evaluators, and the other court personnel that continue to churn cases to make work for themselves ($$$) understand this, children’s lives will continue to be destroyed.

Those who wish to profit off of the misery these children endure continue to push for inclusion of so-called “parental alienation disorder” (PAD) into the DSM-V, the psychiatric and psychological diagnostic “bible” (also used for insurance codes), namely Dr. William Bernet of Vanderbilt University, don’t understand this and claim that if a child is afraid to be with an abuser, they could have PAD because they are an “independent thinker.”

It is claimed that Bernet has a large contingent who are supporting this “mental condition” going into the DSM-V.  Fathers & Families is saying now there are “70 professionals” behind the proposal, up from the recent “50″ supporting it.  F&F are pushing for their supporters to continue to hound the committee for it’s inclusion.  This is just delusional to suggest that this is a large group of supports.  I looked into just how many psychologists there are.  I found one number…63,000 clinical psychologists in the United States alone (Bernet’s group is world wide), and this number is from the early 1990s.  This doesn’t include other psychologists such as in the forensic field, and doesn’t include the number of psychiatrists there are.  What is known of the “70 professionals” that Bernet has supporting PAD is that they make significant income from selling their books or “expert” services blaming parents for protecting their children from abuse.

Yes, there are cases where parents behave badly and lie to children, but research has shown that children are far more likely to resist being with a parent because of the behavior of that parent.  The use of parental alienation “disorders and syndromes” have been the choice of abusers to get child custody successfully taken from their victims.    Bernet and his buddies need to spend more time understanding how children are being destroyed by their actions and the actions of family courts handing these children to abusers.  Here is a report from last year, completed for the U.S. Department of Justice, on this very topic.  Our meetings with DOJ personnel continue to expand their knowledge in this area which is encouraging, but much more needs to be done.

The following post appears courtesy of Jeff Slowikowski, the Acting Administrator for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Yesterday, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) released The National Survey on Children’s Exposure to Violence. The report is a precedent-setting survey because it gives us the first real estimates—as the most comprehensive survey to date– on the nature and extent of violence in children’s lives.

It is the first time data has been collected across all age ranges, and all types of violence, to define the full scope of violence-related experiences in a child’s life –whether it be as victims or witnesses, and whether it be in the home, the school or the community. This is also the first time data has been collected on the cumulative exposure to violence over a child’s lifetime.

With this comprehensive survey, we now have learned that more than 60 percent of the children surveyed were exposed to violence within the past year, either directly or indirectly. Nearly one-half of the children and adolescents surveyed were assaulted at least once in the past year, and more than 1 in 10 were injured as a result.

Respondents also reported they were the victim of a robbery, vandalism, or theft. Some said they were victims of child maltreatment, including physical and emotional abuse, neglect, or a family abduction. 1 in 16 were victimized sexually.

As Attorney General Holder said yesterday in Chicago, these figures are staggering.

The violence that millions of children and youth are exposed to in their homes, schools and communities, whether as direct victims or as a witness, can disrupt their development in many ways. This disruption in development comes from the impact of the stress or trauma on the child. It can be exhibited in how they think, interact, learn and develop relationships.

Each child responds to exposure to violence differently and many children are resilient. Others need support to address trauma reactions to prevent further adverse reactions. That’s why we in the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention support initiatives like Safe Start to prevent and reduce the impacts of children’s exposure to violence. It is our mission to protect our youth and reduce children’s exposure to violence.

At OJJDP we will continue to support the training necessary to reach across disciplines to identify children who are at risk of exposure to violence, such as witnessing domestic violence, and to coordinate the delivery of services to these children. Accurate information is a key ingredient to helping us accomplish our mission. Because the survey tracked children’s lifetime exposure to violence, researchers can develop more accurate estimates on the total number of children in a certain age group who have been exposed to a particular form of violence. It illustrates more clearly the full extent of exposure and the cumulative effects of multiple exposures to violence and how exposure to one form of violence may make a child more vulnerable to other forms of violence.

Armed with these facts we will also work with those who come into daily contact with youth and children to assess and identify those who are suffering emotionally, socially, physically and developmentally from exposure to violence. We can better coordinate our outreach to those children and families who need our help, and provide them with the support they need. This study gives us the tools to better protect juveniles and youth from the effects of violence and guide them into healthy and productive lives.

For more information visit the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.

The graph below illustrates the past year exposure for all survey respondents, and shows how common exposure to violence for children is.

To download the report “Children’s Exposure to Violence – A Comprehensive National Survey” by David Finkelhor, et al, please click here.

Snake Oil Conference in Session: Junk Science is King at the Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome in New York This Weekend

In Domestic Violence, Dr. William Bernet, Joseph Goldberg, Parental Alienation, Parental Alienation Disorder, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome on October 4, 2010 at 6:03 pm

Well, those snake oil salesmen are at it again.  This time they are in New York City selling their goods and services.  Joseph Goldberg, alleged to have left the country for owing $86,000 in back child support, has operated his snake oil kingdom from Toronto for some time now, cold-calling psychologists to get them to sign up with him to provide “services” for so-called “parental alienation syndrome,” the legal tool of abuse most popular with abusers to get custody of children away from their victims.

Many of the so-called “experts” at this snake oil conference have issues, and it could be downright dangerous to deal with them.  Their main concern is to make money from their testifying services and book sales.  Tops on the list is Dr. William Bernet, the inventor of the new and improved “parental alienation disorder” that is up for consideration “from outside sources” for inclusion into the DSM-V, the diagnostic and insurance code bible used by psychiatrists and psychologists.  Dr. Bernet sells his “testimony” to those who need it, such as violent murderers, postulating his theories on why they should be excused for murdering.  While I was down in the hospital after my accident, I had a comment come in from the ex-wife of the murderer Dr. Bernet was making excuses for, and I wasn’t surprised.   Everyone knows that court hearings have very little to do with the truth, especially where violence against women is concerned.  It centers on experts who sell their testimony, often on highly subjective topics such as psychology, where truth has nothing to do with anything they say.  Here is her comment (unedited):

pennywaldroup

william bernet did you do the study on brad waldroup that how well he lies and how he was never able to except fault for his actions he wasnt abused as a child he was a spoiled bratt i know because im his ex wife and has known him since the age of thirteen i have four children with this man and if it was genetic then your saying my children could be passed this gene whatever how much money was you paid to take that stand by the way you sound like mr dry eyes commercial talkin on the stand you bored the whole courtroom with your bullcrap you tell me how do you sleep at night knowing that you help a cold blooded murder i just want you to know maybe your back pocket is full from doing your job but there was nine children that was terrible affected by this

This was from Psychology Today this summer:

July 13, 2010, Evolutionary Psychology

Pity the poor murderer, his genes made him do it

Did his genes make him murder?
Published on July 13, 2010

by Nigel Barber, Ph.D.

A criminal defense attorney has many arrows in his/her quiver. The latest is the “warrior gene.” Having this gene saved Bradley Waldroup from a first degree murder conviction.

The charges stemmed from a bloody rampage in which Waldroup shot his wife’s friend Leslie Bradshaw, eight times, killing her before attempting to kill his wife by chopping her up with a machete.

Waldroup had been drinking as he waited for his estranged wife and their four children who were to spend the weekend at his trailer home in the mountains of Tennessee. When his wife said that she was leaving with her friend, he removed the key from Penny Waldroup’s van to ensure that they could not leave, thereby establising criminal intent. Waldroup then launched his deadly attack on the pair.

The “warrior gene”
Waldroup’s defense attorneys ordered a test and established that he had the warrior gene. Like most such biological defenses, there is a germ of scientific truth combined with a hefty dose of junk science, including clever labeling. The warrior gene might be called other things, such as the gambling gene, the depression gene, the irritability gene, or, even the live-in-a-trailer gene because its effects are contingent on an abusive childhood.

The scientific rationale for diminished responsibility is that a variant of the relevant gene, known as MAO-A is linked to an under active prefrontal cortex, this being a key area of the brain that inhibits antisocial impulses. The gene is also associated with antisocial behavior in European Americans (but not others) but only if they were abused as children (1).

The gene has recently acquired some evidence linking it to impulsive aggression. In an experiment where subjects were provoked by having money winnings taken from them, people with the MAO-A variant proved slightly more vengeful but only if they lost the higher of two amounts of money(2). They asked for the provoker to drink a larger amount of hot sauce as punishment. Whether this experiment is more relevant to homicidal aggression, or sensitivity to the taste of hot sauce is anybody’s guess.

So far, a skilled defense lawyer might weave a tale that the bad gene had gotten the better of the European American defendant. The key scientific problem is that about 34 percent of Europeans have the warrior gene. Yet, homicide is extremely rare at a population level with only about one person in 100 committing a homicide during their lives. If the gene were used to predict homicide, it would be wrong more than 33 times for every one occasion that it was right (3).

Just the facts
This brings us back to the Waldroup case tried in March, 2009, where the warrior gene formed the kernel of a diminished responsibility defense. This defense received enthusiastic endorsement in a recent NPR report by Barbara Bradley Haggerty (“Can Your Genes Make You Murder?”)

Waldroup’s defense was not a simple genetic defense because it was combined with the normally ineffective abuse excuse. Defense expert William Bernet of Vanderbilt University argued that the combination of the warrior gene and being abused as a child was a dangerous cocktail that increased the likelihood of committing a violent offense.

Some of the jurors were persuaded by this defense. According to one, Debbie Beatty: “A diagnosis is a diagnosis, it’s there. A bad gene is a bad gene.”

Junk science is also junk science. There is no getting away from that either, especially if it helps the defense to save a defendant’s life.

1. Crampton, P., & Parkin, C. (2007, March 2). Warrior genes and risk-taking science. Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 120 (1250).
2. McDermot, R., et al. (2009). Monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) predicts behavioral aggression following provocation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106, 2118-2123.
3. Caspi, A. et al. (2002). Role of genotype in the cycle of violence in maltreated children. Science, 297, 851-854.

What really brought it all home was, whether it involves so-called “parental alienation disorder” or murder, removing responsibility for what an abusive parent or murderer may have done is what these people specialize in.  There’s always an excuse when you use JUNK SCIENCE.  Thanks Penny for your thoughts.  I am so sorry for all your family has gone through dear.

Drugging the Children of Divorce Into Submission

In Dr. Amy Baker, Dr. William Bernet, DSM-V, Parental Alienation, Parental Alienation Disorder, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome on August 8, 2010 at 12:28 am

The most disturbing problem to me is the drugging of children who are handed to the abuser in a child custody battle.  I have had moms tell me about their children being drugged to the point they are walking zombies.  And it’s no wonder…these children have to put up with the continued abuse of their other parent and themselves, possibly still enduring physical abuse or worse, even rape, without being able to escape and nobody believing you.  Of course, if Dr. William Bernet and his 50 magical supporters (including Dr. Amy Baker (book seller) and her very pathetic study of 40 handpicked individuals who have an ax to grind) get their way and so-called “parental alienation disorder” is adopted into the DSM-V, even more children will be subjected to being drugged into submission.

I was handed valium as a child after my siblings and I ended up in the custody of my mother’s abuser.  However, as an independent thinker, I flushed them down the toilet and refused to take it.  As an independent thinker, under Bernet’s definition of so-called “parental alienation disorder” I would have one of the symptoms defining me with the “disorder,” even though my neighbors, siblings and I saw my father abuse my mother for years.  As a young teenager, I knew that trying to drug children into submission was wrong.  Why do these “professionals” keep getting away with it?  It is just another form of child abuse.

US Kids Represent Psychiatric Drug Goldmine

Saturday 12 December 2009

by: Evelyn Pringle, t r u t h o u t | Report

(Image: Jared Rodriguez / t r u t h o u t; Adapted: zaxl4, Thom Watson)

Prescriptions for psychiatric drugs increased 50 percent with children in the US, and 73 percent among adults, from 1996 to 2006, according to a study in the May/June 2009 issue of the journal Health Affairs. Another study in the same issue of Health Affairs found spending for mental health care grew more than 30 percent over the same ten-year period, with almost all of the increase due to psychiatric drug costs.

On April 22, 2009, the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality reported that in 2006 more money was spent on treating mental disorders in children aged 0 to 17 than for any other medical condition, with a total of $8.9 billion. By comparison, the cost of treating trauma-related disorders, including fractures, sprains, burns, and other physical injuries, was only $6.1 billion.

In 2008, psychiatric drug makers had overall sales in the US of $14.6 billion from antipsychotics, $9.6 billion off antidepressants, $11.3 billion from antiseizure drugs and $4.8 billion in sales of ADHD drugs, for a grand total of $40.3 billion.

The path to child drugging in the US started with providing adolescents with stimulants for ADHD in the early 80s. That was followed by Prozac in the late 80s, and in the mid-90s drug companies started claiming that ADHD kids really had bipolar disorder, coinciding with the marketing of epilepsy drugs as “mood stablizers” and the arrival of the new atypical antipsychotics.

Parents can now have their kids declared disabled due to mental illness and receive Social Security disability payments and free medical care, and schools can get more money for disabled kids. The bounty for the prescribing doctors and pharmacies is enormous and the CEOs of the drug companies are laughing all the way into early retirement.

Psychiatric Drugs Explained

During an interview with Street Spirit in August 2005, investigative journalist and author of “Mad in America,” Robert Whitaker, described the dangers of psychiatric drugs. “When you look at the research literature, you find a clear pattern of outcomes with all these drugs,” he said, “you see it with the antipsychotics, the antidepressants, the anti-anxiety drugs and the stimulants like Ritalin used to treat ADHD.”

“All these drugs may curb a target symptom slightly more effectively than a placebo does for a short period of time, say six weeks,” Whitaker said. However, what “you find with every class of these psychiatric drugs is a worsening of the target symptom of depression or psychosis or anxiety, over the long term, compared to placebo-treated patients.”

“So even on the target symptoms, there’s greater chronicity and greater severity of symptoms,” he reports, “And you see a fairly significant percentage of patients where new and more severe psychiatric symptoms are triggered by the drug itself.”

Whitaker told Street Spirit that the rate of Americans disabled by mental illness has skyrocketed since Prozac came on the market in 1987, and reports: (1) the number of mentally disabled people in the US has been increasing at a rate of 150,000 people per year since 1987, (2) that represents an increase of 410 new people per day and (3) the disability rate has continued to increase and one in every 50 Americans is disabled by mental illness.

The statistics above beg the question of how could this happen when the so-called new generation of “wonder drugs” arrived on the market during the exact same time period. The truth is, the “wonder drugs” cause most of the bizarre behaviors listed by doctors to warrant a mental illness disability.

Psychiatric Drug Goldmine

The CIA “World Factbook” estimate the world population to be about 6.8 billion and the US population to be a mere 307 million. In an April 2008 report, the market research firm Datamonitor reported that the “US dominates the ADHD market with a 94 percent market share.”

ADHD drug prices at a middle dose for 90 pills at DrugStore.com, are: Adderall $278, Concerta $412, Desoxyn $366, Strattera $464 and Vyvanse $385. Daytrana costs $437 for three boxes of 30 nine-hour patches.

The SSRI and SNRI antidepressants include GlaxoSmithKline’s Paxil and Wellbutrin, Pfizer’s Zoloft, Celexa and Lexapro from Forest Labs, Luvox by Solvay, Wyeth’s Effexor and Pristiq and Lilly’s Prozac and Cymbalta. The average price of these drugs is about $300 for 90 pills at DrugStore.com.

The prices for anticonvulsants can run as high as $929 for 180 tablets of Glaxo’s Lamictal, and $1170 for 180 tablets of Johnson & Johnson’s Topamax.

In 2008, the atypical antipsychotics took over the slot as the top revenue earners in the US, and include Seroquel by AstraZeneca; Risperdal and Invega marketed by Janssen, a division of J&J; Geodon by Pfizer; Abilify from Bristol-Myers Squibb; Novartis’ Clozaril and Eli Lilly’s Zyprexa. The average price on these drugs for 100 pills at DrugStore.com is about $1,000. Lilly also sells Symbyax, a drug with Zyprexa and Prozac combined, at a cost $1,564 for 90 capsules at DrugStore.com in May 2009.

The briefing material submitted to an FDA advisory panel in April 2009 reported that an estimated 25.9 million patients worldwide had been exposed to Seroquel since its launch in 1997 through July 31, 2007, in the US, and the second quarter of 2007 for countries outside the US. Of that number, an estimated nearly 15.9 million took Seroquel in the US, compared to only ten million patients in the rest of the world. In 2008, the US accounted for roughly $3 billion of Seroquel’s $4.5 billion in worldwide sales.

For the full-year of 2008, Eli Lilly reported worldwide Zyprexa sales of about $4.7 billion, with US sales of $2.2 billion and only $2.5 billion for the rest of the world.

FDA as Promotional Tool

On June 12, 2009, an FDA advisory panel gave the green light to expand the marketing of Zyprexa, Seroquel and Geodon for use with 13 to 17 year-olds diagnosed with schizophrenia and 10 to 17 year-olds diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The FDA usually follows its advisers’ recommendations.

“Such approval gives manufacturers a shield from liability – for illegally promoting the drugs for off-label use,” said Vera Hassner Sharav, president of the Alliance for Human Research Protection.

“And such approval ensures increased use of these drugs,” she warned. “Manufacturers and mental health providers will profit while children’s physical and mental health will be sacrificed.”

“The body of evidence showing these drugs to be harmful is irrefutable,” she said, “it is documented in FDA’s postmarketing database, and in secret internal company documents uncovered during litigation.”

According to Dr. Stefan Kruszewski, a Harvard-trained psychiatrist from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, the atypicals increase the risk of obesity, type II diabetes, hypertension, heart attacks and stroke.

He said the drugs were marketed as safer and easier to tolerate than the older, cheaper antipsychotics because they would cause fewer neurological injuries like tardive dyskinesia and akathisia.

Those claims turned out to be totally false, he said, and “they continue to cause same neurological side-effects as the older antipsychotics.”

“Children are known to be compliant patients and that makes them a highly desirable market for drugs, especially when it pertains to large-profit-margin psychiatric drugs, which can be wrought with issues of non-compliance because of their horrendous side effect profiles,” according to a June 29, 2009 paper titled, “Drugging Our Children to Death,” in Health News Digest.com, by Gwen Olsen, who spent over a decade as a pharmaceutical sales rep, and authored the book, “Confessions of an Rx Drug Pusher.”

Children are forced to take their drugs by doctors, parents and school personnel, she said. “So, children are the ideal patient-type because they represent refilled prescription compliance and ‘longevity.’”

“In other words,” Olsen noted, “they will be lifelong patients and repeat customers for Pharma!”

“The initiative to drug our children for profit has exceeded all common sense boundaries and is threatening the welfare of every American child,” she stated, and it “is up to each and every one of us to stop this madness!”

Drug Makers Busted

Most all of the psychiatric drug companies have come under investigation over the past several years for promoting their drugs for off-label use, especially with children. However, the fines they end up paying are trivial compared to the profits earned through the illegal marketing campaigns.

In September 2007, Bristol-Myers Squibb entered into a $515 million civil settlement with the US Department of Justice for illegally marketing drugs, including Abilify, for off-label uses. In the first six months of 2009, Abilify had sales of $1.9 billion. In 2008, the salary and compensation package of Bristol-Myers’ CEO, James Cornelius, was $23,150,236, according to the AFL-CIO’s Executive PayWatch Database.

On January 29, 2009, Paxil and Wellbutrin maker, GlaxoSmithKline, announced that it would record a legal charge in the fourth quarter of 2008 of $400 million relating to an ongoing investigation initiated by the US attorney’s office in Colorado into the US marketing and promotional practices for several products for the period 1997 to 2004. The government inquired about alleged off-label marketing as well as medical education programs for doctors, “other speaker events, special issue boards, advisory boards, speaker training programmes, clinical studies, and related grants, fees, travel and entertainment,” according to a Glaxo annual report.

In January 2009, Eli Lilly settled with the DOJ and more than 30 states for $1.4 billion over the off-label marketing of Zyprexa. The agreement included a $615 million fine for a federal criminal charge. But $1.4 billion was chump change considering that Zyprexa was still Lilly’s best seller in 2008, with sales of $4.69 billion. Lilly also has paid over $1 billion to settle lawsuits filed by Zyprexa patients. In the first six months of 2009, Zyprexa sales were $1.5 billion. In 2008, Lilly’s CEO, John Lechleiter, had a pay package worth $12,856,882.

In September 2009, the DOJ reached a $2.3 billion settlement with Pfizer related to the off-label promotion of several drugs, including the psychiatric drugs, Geodon, Zoloft and Lyrica, in the largest health-care fraud settlement in history. But even though Pfizer took the entire $2.3 billion as an earnings charge for the fourth quarter of 2008, the drug maker was still able to post a fourth quarter profit of $268 million. Pfizer’s CEO in 2008, Jeffrey Kindler, had a salary and pay package of $15,547,600.

Johnson & Johnson is also dealing with the DOJ and state-level investigations into the off-label marketing of Risperdal. The company’s latest SEC filing lists nine subpoenas received by the company involving promotions of Risperdal, including one “seeking information regarding the Company’s financial relationship with several psychiatrists.” In the first six months of 2009, Risperdal earned $660 million. J&J’s CEO, William Weldon, had a pay package worth $29,127,432 in 2008.

AstraZeneca’s third quarter SEC filing lists a $520 million tentative settlement agreement with the US attorney’s office in Philadelphia to resolve allegations related to the off-label marketing of Seroquel. At “least 34 states are pursuing separate investigations of AstraZeneca’s marketing practices as part of a joint investigation and others may be conducting their own probes,” according to Ed Silverman on Pharmalot.

“A half a billion dollar one-time settlement is just a small cost of doing business for a company that sold $17 billion worth of the offending drug in the last five years,” Dr. Roy Poses points out on the Health Care Renewal web site. In 2008 alone, Seroquel had world-wide sales of more than $4.4 billion.

As of July 13, 2009, AstraZeneca was also defending approximately 10,381 served or answered personal injury lawsuits and approximately 19,391 plaintiff groups involving Seroquel, according to SEC filings. Some of the cases also include claims against other drug makers such as Eli Lilly, Janssen Pharmaceutica and/or Bristol-Myers Squibb, the filing notes.

On September 23, 2009, Shire Pharmaceuticals received a subpoena from the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General in coordination with the US attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, seeking production of documents related to the sales and marketing of Adderall XR, Daytrana and Vyvanse, according to Shire’s third quarter report for 2009.

In a November 6, 2009, SEC filing, Abbott Labs said the federal prosecutor for the Western District of Virginia was conducting an investigation for the US Justice Department of whether the company’s sales and marketing of Depakote violated civil or criminal laws, including the Federal False Claims Act and an anti-kickback statute related to reimbursement by Medicare and Medicaid programs to third parties.

In 2008, Depakote had sales of $1.36 billion and Abbott CEO, Miles White, had a salary and compensation package of $28,253,387.

In February 2009, the DOJ unsealed a lawsuit alleging that Forest Laboratories marketed the antidepressants Celexa and Lexapro for unapproved uses in children, and paid kickbacks to induce doctors to promote the drugs, including Dr. Jeffrey Bostic at Harvard University. In its latest SEC filing, Forest disclosed that it reached an agreement in principle in May 2009 to settle the civil aspects of US federal and state probes. “Penalties in the civil settlement are covered by a $170 million reserve Forest created in April,” according to a November 9 report by Dow Jones.

Forest also disclosed that the agreement “does not resolve the government’s ongoing investigation into potential criminal law violations” related to Celexa and Lexapro, and thyroid drug Levothroid, Dow Jones notes. In 2008, the salary and compensation for Forest CEO, Howard Solomon, was $6,565,324.

Over the past year and a half, a large number of so-called “Key Opinion Leaders” in the field of psychiatry have been exposed for not fully disclosing money received from many of the drug companies above through an investigation by the US Senate Finance Committee under the leadership of Iowa Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley.

The list so far includes Harvard University’s Joseph Biederman, Thomas Spencer and Timothy Wilens; Charles Nemeroff and Zackery Stowe from Emory; Melissa DelBello at the University of Cincinnati; Alan Schatzberg, president of the American Psychiatric Association from Stanford; Martin Keller at Brown University; Karen Wagner and Augustus John Rush from the University of Texas and Fred Goodwin, the former host of a radio show called “Infinite Minds,” broadcast by National Pubic Radio.

Fines as a Business Expense

The fraud settlements are “merely a cost of doing business to these pharmaceutical Goliaths and, in fact, caps their liability for these crimes,” said Alaskan attorney Jim Gottstein, the leader of the Law Project for Psychiatric Rights (PsychRights), a public interest law firm.

“Most importantly,” he noted, “these settlements have not stopped the practice of psychiatrists and other prescribers giving these drugs to children and youth and Medicaid continuing to pay for these fraudulent claims.”

“Because of the massive, harmful, increase in the psychiatric drugging of America’s children and youth, who are inherently forced, PsychRights has made addressing the problem a priority,” he said.

Gottstein conducted an investigation and determined that the vast majority of off-label psychotropic drug prescriptions for children and youth that are paid for by Medicaid constitute Medicaid fraud.

PsychRights now has a national “Medicaid Fraud Initiative Against Psychiatric Drugging of Children & Youth,” designed to address this problem by “having lawsuits brought against the doctors prescribing these harmful, ineffective drugs, their employers, and the pharmacies filling these prescriptions and submitting them to Medicaid for reimbursement,” according to its web site.

“Anyone who submits or causes claims to be submitted to Medicaid for drugs that are not for a ‘medically accepted indication’ is committing Medicaid Fraud,” said Gottstein, in a July 27, 2009 press release announcing the launch of the national campaign.

“Those guilty of this Medicaid Fraud include psychiatrists and other physicians prescribing these drugs, their employers, and pharmacies submitting the false claims to Medicaid,” he pointed out.

PsychRights estimates that over $2 billion in such fraudulent Medicaid claims are being paid by the government each year.

“Once one sues over specific offending prescriptions, all of such prescriptions can be brought in, which means that any psychiatrist on the losing end of such a lawsuit will almost certainly be bankrupted, because each offending prescription carries a penalty of between $5,500 and $11,000,” PsychRights explained.

It is hoped that once the doctors and pharmacies realize they are subject to financially ruinous Medicaid fraud judgments, the practice will be stopped or substantially reduced.

“Each prescriber may have a million dollars or few, at most, to lose, but the pharmacies’ financial exposure can run into the hundreds of millions of dollars and it is hoped this will attract attorneys to take these cases,” the web site noted.

In September and October 2009, Gottstein gave presentations on the initiative at the annual conferences of the National Association of Rights Protection and Advocacy and the International Center for the Study of Psychiatry and Psychology in order to find people who are potentially interested and willing to pursue such cases.

“This was successful and we have at least a few such cases cooking,” he reported. “PsychRights stands ready to help people interested in bringing such suits.”

In late 2006, Gottstein won international fame by subpoenaing and releasing thousands of documents involving Eli Lilly’s illegal marketing of Zyprexa, which resulted in front page stories in The New York Times.

PsychRights also has an appeal pending on a lawsuit filed against the state of Alaska and responsible state officials seeking declaratory and injunctive relief that Alaskan children and youth on Medicaid have the right not to be administered psychotropic drugs unless and until a number of specific conditions are met. The lawsuit seeks to prohibit the state from paying for psychiatric drugs prescribed off-label to children and youth.

In responding to the lawsuit, the state claimed that they do have any control over or responsibility for the psychiatric drugging of children in their custody, or any responsibility under Medicaid, and moved for dismissal on the grounds that PsychRights does not have standing, or the right to bring the suit, because it was not harmed by the state’s actions.

The court agreed and dismissed the case. “We think the judge is wrong and have filed an appeal,” said Gottstein.

In May 2009, Gottstein sent letters to Sens. Charles Grassley and Herb Kohl and Reps. Henry Waxman, Bart Stupak, John Dingell and Barney Frank, describing the massive Medicaid fraud involved in the prescribing of psychiatric drugs to children in the US and asked for “assistance in stopping these illegal reimbursements.”

As of November 8, 2009, Gottstein reported, “I haven’t gotten as much as an acknowledgment of receipt from any of the members of Congress to whom I wrote.”

While pursuing causes on behalf of PsychRights, Gottstein donates all of his time on a pro bono basis.

Dr. William Bernet’s “Warrior Gene” and Junk Science

In Dr. William Bernet, DSM-V, Parental Alienation, Parental Alienation Disorder, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome on July 17, 2010 at 4:25 am

I am still mulling this over after hearing it on NPR a couple of weeks ago.  This author pegged onto what exactly it was that was bothering me, and that is JUNK SCIENCE.  Dr. William Bernet of Vanderbilt University specializes in this component, being the proposer to the DSM-V Committee (the psychiatric and psychologist’s diagnosis and “insurance code” bible) of so-called “parental alienation disorder,” an “afflication” he provides expert testimony on in child custody cases.  For those who can afford him (typically fathers).

Again, removing responsibility for what an abusive parent or murderer may have done, there’s always an excuse when you use JUNK SCIENCE.

From Psychology Today:

July 13, 2010, Evolutionary Psychology

Pity the poor murderer, his genes made him do it

Did his genes make him murder?
Published on July 13, 2010

by Nigel Barber, Ph.D.

A criminal defense attorney has many arrows in his/her quiver. The latest is the “warrior gene.” Having this gene saved Bradley Waldroup from a first degree murder conviction.

The charges stemmed from a bloody rampage in which Waldroup shot his wife’s friend Leslie Bradshaw, eight times, killing her before attempting to kill his wife by chopping her up with a machete.

Waldroup had been drinking as he waited for his estranged wife and their four children who were to spend the weekend at his trailer home in the mountains of Tennessee. When his wife said that she was leaving with her friend, he removed the key from Penny Waldroup’s van to ensure that they could not leave, thereby establising criminal intent. Waldroup then launched his deadly attack on the pair.

The “warrior gene”

Waldroup’s defense attorneys ordered a test and established that he had the warrior gene. Like most such biological defenses, there is a germ of scientific truth combined with a hefty dose of junk science, including clever labeling. The warrior gene might be called other things, such as the gambling gene, the depression gene, the irritability gene, or, even the live-in-a-trailer gene because its effects are contingent on an abusive childhood.

The scientific rationale for diminished responsibility is that a variant of the relevant gene, known as MAO-A is linked to an under active prefrontal cortex, this being a key area of the brain that inhibits antisocial impulses. The gene is also associated with antisocial behavior in European Americans (but not others) but only if they were abused as children (1).

The gene has recently acquired some evidence linking it to impulsive aggression. In an experiment where subjects were provoked by having money winnings taken from them, people with the MAO-A variant proved slightly more vengeful but only if they lost the higher of two amounts of money(2). They asked for the provoker to drink a larger amount of hot sauce as punishment. Whether this experiment is more relevant to homicidal aggression, or sensitivity to the taste of hot sauce is anybody’s guess.

So far, a skilled defense lawyer might weave a tale that the bad gene had gotten the better of the European American defendant. The key scientific problem is that about 34 percent of Europeans have the warrior gene. Yet, homicide is extremely rare at a population level with only about one person in 100 committing a homicide during their lives. If the gene were used to predict homicide, it would be wrong more than 33 times for every one occasion that it was right (3).

Just the facts

This brings us back to the Waldroup case tried in March, 2009, where the warrior gene formed the kernel of a diminished responsibility defense. This defense received enthusiastic endorsement in a recent NPR report by Barbara Bradley Haggerty (“Can Your Genes Make You Murder?”)

Waldroup’s defense was not a simple genetic defense because it was combined with the normally ineffective abuse excuse. Defense expert William Bernet of Vanderbilt University argued that the combination of the warrior gene and being abused as a child was a dangerous cocktail that increased the likelihood of committing a violent offense.

Some of the jurors were persuaded by this defense. According to one, Debbie Beatty: “A diagnosis is a diagnosis, it’s there. A bad gene is a bad gene.”

Junk science is also junk science. There is no getting away from that either, especially if it helps the defense to save a defendant’s life.

1. Crampton, P., & Parkin, C. (2007, March 2). Warrior genes and risk-taking science. Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association, 120 (1250).

2. McDermot, R., et al. (2009). Monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) predicts behavioral aggression following provocation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 106, 2118-2123.

3. Caspi, A. et al. (2002). Role of genotype in the cycle of violence in maltreated children. Science, 297, 851-854.

Dr. William Bernet’s Excuse for Abusive Murdering Husbands: The “Warrior Gene”

In Dr. William Bernet, DSM-V, Parental Alienation, Parental Alienation Disorder, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome on July 3, 2010 at 1:37 pm

Parental Alienation Disorder proposer/Court Whore Dr. William Bernet recently testified in a horrific murder trial in Tennessee.   

When the police arrived at Bradley Waldroup’s trailer home in the mountains of Tennessee, they found a war zone. There was blood on the walls, blood on the carpet, blood on the truck outside, even blood on the Bible that Waldroup had been reading before all hell broke loose.   

Assistant District Attorney Drew Robinson says that on Oct. 16, 2006, Waldroup was waiting for his estranged wife to arrive with their four kids for the weekend. He had been drinking, and when his wife said she was leaving with her friend, Leslie Bradshaw, they began to fight. Soon, Waldroup had shot Bradshaw eight times and sliced her head open with a sharp object. When Waldroup was finished with her, he chased after his wife, Penny, with a machete, chopping off her finger and cutting her over and over.   

“There are murders and then there are … hacking to death, trails of blood,” says prosecutor Cynthia Lecroy-Schemel. “I have not seen one like this. And I have done a lot.”    

Prosecutors charged Waldroup with the felony murder of Bradshaw, which carries the death penalty, and attempted first-degree murder of his wife. It seemed clear to them that Waldroup’s actions were intentional and premeditated.  

“There were numerous things he did around the crime scene that were conscious choices,” Lecroy-Schemel says. “One of them was [that] he told his children to ‘come tell your mama goodbye,’ because he was going to kill her. And he had the gun, and he had the machete.”  

There was no question that Waldroup was guilty, he admitted it.  The question was why…so the defense team reached out to Bernet for excuses answers:  

Since 2004, Dr. William Bernet of Vanderbilt University and laboratory director Cindy Vnencak-Jones have been analyzing the DNA of people like Waldroup. They’ve tested some 30 criminal defendants, most of whom were charged with murder. They were looking for a particular variant of the MAO-A gene — also known as the warrior gene because it has been associated with violence. Bernet says they found that Waldroup has the high-risk version of the gene.  

“His genetic makeup, combined with his history of child abuse, together created a vulnerability that he would be a violent adult,” Bernet explains.  

Over the fierce opposition of prosecutors, the judge allowed Bernet to testify in court that these two factors help explain why Waldroup snapped that murderous night.  

“We didn’t say these things made him become violent, but they certainly constituted a risk factor or a vulnerability,” Bernet says. 

Bernet cited scientific studies over the past decade that found that the combination of the high-risk gene and child abuse increases one’s chances of being convicted of a violent offense by more than 400 percent. He notes that other studies have not found a connection between the MAO-A gene and violence — but he told the jury that he felt the genes and childhood abuse were a dangerous cocktail.  

“A person doesn’t choose to have this particular gene or this particular genetic makeup,” Bernet says. “A person doesn’t choose to be abused as a child. So I think that should be taken into consideration when we’re talking about criminal responsibility.”  

Prosecutor Drew Robinson brought in his own expert:  

To rebut Bernet’s testimony, Robinson called in his own expert: psychiatrist Terry Holmes, the clinical director of Moccasin Bend Mental Health Institute in Chattanooga, Tenn. Holmes urged the jury to ignore it.  

“This was somebody who was intoxicated and mad and was gonna hurt somebody,” Holmes says. “And it had little to nothing to do with his genetic makeup.”  

Holmes says it’s way too early to use this research in a court of law. And he believes Bernet is spinning the data. 

In the end, the jury bought Bernet’s testimony. Waldroup walked away with a conviction for voluntary manslaughter instead of first degree murder, with 32 years in prison instead of a potential death penalty.  

 

Family members wait for the verdict.

So again, what Bernet seems so good at, is coming up with reasons to excuse what abusers do. Something to cover their asses, while a few bucks are made for “expert testimony” services.  

What would really be noble is if Bernet would promote this “warrior gene” test for a prerequisite to get married.  Identify the murderous, abusive assholes before we commit to them.  This may save countless women and children’s lives….oh wait, that would cut into their “parental alienation disorder” business. Well, it was a good idea at least…  

To listen to the National Public Radio story on this (WARNING: Graphic descriptions of violence) and read original story, please click here.

Beware! If Your Child is an “Independent Thinker” They May Have “Parental Alienation Disorder”

In Dr Richard Warshak, Dr. Peter Jaffe, Dr. William Bernet, DSM-V, Parental Alienation, Parental Alienation Disorder, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome on June 30, 2010 at 11:30 am

There is a reason the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, the National District Attorney’s Association and the American Judge’s Association have all debunked the use of “parental alienation”: it is a recognized tool of legal abuse used by batterers and child sexual abusers to get child custody.  The former has and continues to warn family court judges from accepting it’s claims in family court.

Beware! If Your Child is an “Independent Thinker” They May Have “Parental Alienation Disorder”

I finally found the text of what Dr. William Bernet submitted for consideration for inclusion in the DSM-V, the diagnostic bible used by ethical psychologists/psychiatrists and Court Whores alike.   Dr. Bernet and some of the magical “50 professionals” (who all make a significant portion of their income promoting this) were recently at the Denver AFCC (Association of Family and Conciliation Courts – the father’s rights-leaning association for judges and court whores) conference and engaged in debate with Dr. Peter Jaffe and others about the so-called “parental alienation disorder.”  The text below came from that conference.

As one with multiple scientific degrees, I was very interested in seeing the proposal.  I found it to be more of a sales pitch instead of one scientifically driven.  What I found most laughable was on the diagnostic criteria it included “independent thinker phenomenon.”  Yes, it ACTUALLY says this towards the end.   How far out can these court whores reach to bizarro world?  What is scary is that if the DSM-V committee buys this drivel, the court whores and lawyers will be unleashed to destroy children and their families.

This proposal barely mentions that children may be come afraid of a parent because of the actions of that parent.  This includes seeing a parent abuse and beat the other parent, or maybe the child themselves.  The child may be sexually abused by a parent, therefore may not want to be alone with that parent.  Research has shown that the number one reason children refuse to visit a parent is because of the behavior of that parent.

The DSM-V has not been adopted at this point, nor is there any agreement that the following diagnosis should be added.


Proposed Text for Parental Alienation Disorder in DSM-V

DIAGNOSTIC FEATURES

The essential feature of parental alienation disorder is that a child – usually one whose parents are engaged in a high-conflict divorce – allies himself or herself strongly with one parent (the preferred parent) and rejects a relationship with the other parent (the alienated parent) without legitimate justification. The primary behavioral symptom is the child’s resistance or refusal to have contact with the alienated parent (Criterion A).

The behaviors in the child that characterize parental alienation disorder include a persistent campaign of denigration against the alienated parent and weak, frivolous, and absurd rationalizations for the child’s criticism of the alienated parent (Criterion B).

The following clinical features frequently occur in parental alienation disorder, especially when the child’s symptoms reach a level that is moderate or severe (Criterion C). Lack of ambivalence refers to the child’s belief that the alienated parent is all bad and the preferred parent is all good. The independent-thinker phenomenon means that the child proudly states the decision to reject the alienated parent is his own, not influenced by the preferred parent. Reflexive support of the preferred parent against the alienated parent refers to the pattern of the child’s immediately and automatically taking the preferred parent’s side in a disagreement. The child may exhibit a disregard for the feelings of the alienated parent and an absence of guilt over exploitation of the alienated parent. The child may manifest borrowed scenarios, that is, rehearsed statements that are identical to those made by the preferred parent. Also, the child’s animosity toward the alienated parent may spread to that parent’s extended family.

The diagnosis of parental alienation disorder should not be used if the child’s refusal to have contact with the rejected parent is justifiable, for example, if the child was neglected or abused by that parent (Criterion D).

ASSOCIATED FEATURES

Parental alienation disorder may be mild, moderate, or severe. When the parental alienation disorder is mild, the child may briefly resist contact with the alienated parent, but does have contact and enjoys a good relationship with the alienated parent once they are together.

When the parental alienation disorder is mild, the child may have a strong, healthy relationship with both parents, even though the child recites criticisms of the alienated parent.

When the parental alienation disorder is moderate, the child may persistently resist

contact with the alienated parent and will continue to complain and criticize the alienated parent during the contact. The child is likely to have a mildly to moderately pathological relationship with the preferred parent.

When the parental alienation disorder is severe, the child strongly and persistently resists contact and may hide or run away to avoid seeing the alienated parent. The child’s behavior is driven by a firmly held, false belief that the alienated parent is evil, dangerous, or worthless.  The child is likely to have a strong, severely pathological relationship with the preferred parent, perhaps sharing a paranoid worldview.

While the diagnosis of parental alienation disorder refers to the child, the preferred parent and other persons the child is dependent on may manifest the following attitudes and behaviors, which frequently are the major cause of the disorder: persistent criticisms of the rejected parent’s personal qualities and parenting activities; statements that influence the child to fear, dislike, and criticize the alienated parent; and various maneuvers to exclude the rejected parent from the child’s life. The behavior of the preferred parent may include complaints to the police and child protection agencies with allegations about the rejected parent.

Parental alienation disorder may be the basis for false allegations of sexual abuse against the alienated parent. The preferred parent may be litigious to the point of abusing the legal system. The preferred parent may violate court orders that are not to his or her liking. Specific psychological problems – narcissistic personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, traumatic childhood experiences, and paranoid traits – may be identified in these individuals.  Also, the rejected parent may manifest the following attitudes and behaviors, which may be a minor or contributory cause of the disorder: lack of warm, involved parenting; deficient parenting skills; and lack of time dedicated to parenting activities. However, the intensity and duration of the child’s refusal to have contact with the rejected parent is far out of proportion to the relatively minor weaknesses in the rejected parent’s parenting skills.

Although parental alienation disorder most often arises in the context of a child custody dispute between two parents, it can arise in other types of conflicts over child custody, such as a dispute between a parent and stepparent or between a parent and a grandparent. Sometimes, other family members – such as stepparents or grandparents – contribute to the creation of parental alienation disorder. On occasion, other individuals – such as therapists and child protection workers – contribute to the creation of parental alienation disorder by encouraging or supporting the child’s refusal to have contact with the alienated parent. Also, parental alienation disorder does not necessarily appear in the context of divorce litigation, but may occur in intact families or years following the divorce.

DIFFERENTIAL DIAGNOSIS

It is common for children to resist or avoid contact with the noncustodial parent after the parents separate or divorce. There are several possible explanations for a child’s active rejection of contact. Parental alienation disorder is an important, but not the only, reason that children refuse contact.

In the course of normal development children will become polarized with one parent and then the other depending on the child’s developmental stage and events in the child’s life. When parents disagree, it is normal for children to experience loyalty conflicts. These transitory variationsin a child’s relationship with his or her parents do not meet criteria for parental alienation disorder because they do not constitute “a persistent rejection or denigration of a parent that reaches the level of a campaign.”

If the child actually was abused, neglected, or disliked by the noncustodial parent or the current boyfriend or girlfriend of that parent, the child’s animosity may be justified and it is understandable that the child would not want to visit the rejected parent’s household. If abuse were the reason for the child’s refusal, the diagnosis would be physical abuse of child or sexual abuse of child, not parental alienation disorder. This is important to keep in mind because an abusive, rejected parent may misuse the concept of parental alienation disorder in order to falsely blame the child’s refusal of contact on the parent that the child prefers. In shared psychotic disorder, a delusional parent may influence a child to believe that the other parent is an evil person who must be feared and avoided. In parental alienation disorder, the alienating parent may have very strong opinions about the alienated parent, but is not usually considered out of touch with reality.

When parents separate or divorce, a child with separation anxiety disorder may become even more worried and anxious about being away from the primary caretaker. In separation anxiety disorder, the child is preoccupied with unrealistic fears that something will happen to the primary caretaker, while the child with parental alienation disorder is preoccupied with unrealistic beliefs that the alienated parent is dangerous.

It is conceivable that a child with specific phobia, situational type, might have an unreasonable fear of a parent or some aspect of the parent’s household. A child with a specific phobia is unlikely to engage in a persistent campaign of denigration against the feared object, while the campaign of denigration is a central feature of parental alienation disorder.

When parents separate or divorce, a child with oppositional defiant disorder may become even more symptomatic – angry, resentful, stubborn – and not want to participate in the process of transitioning from one parent to the other. In oppositional defiant disorder, the child is likely to be oppositional with both parents in a variety of contexts, while the child with parental alienation disorder is likely to focus his or her negativism on the proposed contact with the alienated parent and also to engage in the campaign of denigration of that parent.

When parents separate or divorce, a child may develop an adjustment disorder as a reaction to the various stressors related to the divorce including discord between the parents, the loss of a relationship with a parent, and the disruption of moving to a new neighborhood and school. A child with an adjustment disorder may have a variety of nonspecific symptoms including depression, anxious mood, and disruptive behaviors, while the child with parental alienation disorder manifests a specific cluster of symptoms including the campaign of denigration and weak, frivolous rationalizations for the child’s persistent criticism of the alienated parent.

Parent-child relational problem (a V-code) is the appropriate diagnosis if the focus of clinical attention is on the relationship between a child and his or her divorced parents, but the symptoms do not meet the criteria for a mental disorder. For example, a rebellious adolescent may not have a specific mental disorder, but may temporarily refuse to have contact with one parent even though both parents have encouraged him to do so and a court has ordered it. On the other hand, parental alienation disorder should be the diagnosis if the child’s symptoms are persistent enough and severe enough to meet the criteria for that disorder.

DIAGNOSTIC CRITERIA FOR PARENTAL ALIENATION DISORDER

A. The child – usually one whose parents are engaged in a high-conflict divorce – allies himself or herself strongly with one parent and rejects a relationship with the other, alienated parent without legitimate justification. The child resists or refuses contact or parenting time with the alienated parent.

B. The child manifests the following behaviors:

  • a persistent rejection or denigration of a parent that reaches the level of a
  • campaign
  • weak, frivolous, and absurd rationalizations for the child’s persistent criticism of the rejected parent

C. The child manifests two or more of the following six attitudes and behaviors:

(1) lack of ambivalence

(2) independent-thinker phenomenon

(3) reflexive support of one parent against the other

(4) absence of guilt over exploitation of the rejected parent

(5) presence of borrowed scenarios

(6) spread of the animosity to the extended family of the rejected parent.

D. The duration of the disturbance is at least 2 months.

E. The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social academic (occupational), or other important areas of functioning.

F. The child’s refusal to have contact with the rejected parent is without legitimate justification. That is, parental alienation disorder is not diagnosed if the rejected parent maltreated the child.

Grab Your Torches and Pitchforks: The “Parental Alienation Syndrome” Court Whores are Coming to New York

In Dr. Amy Baker, Dr. William Bernet, DSM-V, Joseph Goldberg, Parental Alienation, Parental Alienation Disorder, Parental Alienation Disorders, Parental Alienation Syndrome on June 18, 2010 at 12:53 am

The Canadian Symposium for Parental Alienation Syndrome

Joseph Goldberg, well known to the Florida Better Business Bureau as a scam artist, and possibly is a fugitive because of the $86,000 he allegedly owes in child support, is holding one of those court whore conventions again.  This time it will be in New York City.  As he did with the Toronto court whore event, he cold-emailed many lawyers and psychologists with claims of clients he has for them as soon as they hook up with him (I had a psychologist forward the email he had sent out….unbelievable!).  A look on his site for the event has multiple “register now” buttons blinking which reminded me of the decor of a Nevada whore house.  Looking at the “presenters” is also amusing, many are professional court whores whose livelihood depends on this sham syndrome.

(It is apparent that more people attended the Mother’s Day Vigil in front of the White House this year than attended their court whore event in Toronto pushing the syndrome that was used as a legal tool against these mothers and children.)

For example, Dr. Michael Bone is no longer licensed to practice because of ethical problems relating to a custody case in Florida.  So he whores himself off as a PAS expert.  A dear friend of mine, who was duped into thinking this guy knew something, was quoted a rate of $150 for every 15 minute segment he talked with her and her attorney.  $600 an hour is pretty powerful incentive to push anything for some people.

Then there’s Bernet and Baker….part of the magical (and laughable) 50 “professionals” pushing their “parental alienation disorder” to the DSM-V committee, to get their moneymaker into the diagnostic bible the American Psychiatric Association publishes.  Fifty professionals that dismiss eye witness accounts of abuse and medical proof of abuse by an abuser…reasons why children may be afraid of an abuser.  Fifty professionals are touted as a “representative” group of psychologists and psychiatrists in their eyes I suppose, although I know many singular professional buildings in many cities have far more than this number in their buildings by themselves.  If only 50 signed up to support it, imagine the number that laugh at the prospect of it getting in.  I know many do.  But these 50 “professionals” have services and books for sale, including expert testifying services for your convenience…they brag about it on their bios on the CSPAS website.

Among Bernet’s “Diagnostic Criteria for Parental Alienation Disorder“:

C. The child manifests two or more of the following six attitudes and behaviors:

(1) lack of ambivalence

(2) independent-thinker phenomenon

….

Unfreakingbelievable!  What a bunch of quacks…really, there is something wrong with being an independent thinker?  Corrupt bastards.

And then there is the House of Whores Horrors, the Hochs from the Rachel House, who always seems to have their share of legal problems.  Read more about them here.  This article also discusses other court whores associated with them who have lost the privilege to practice.

Finally, here cum the low-life, blood and life-sucking lawyers, who look for more ways to build their business to defend and/or attack parents using this sham syndrome.  They use legal tools to satisfy their clients desire to win, and that means $$$ for them.  What’s best for the children means NOTHING to them…winning means everything.

By the way, a New York State Appellate Division overturned a recent “PAS” case just a couple weeks ago.  Human rights: 1, Court Whores: 0.

So grab your torches and pitchforks and head to New York City October 2nd and 3rd.  You can wear scarves over your heads, or even a burka, to hide your identity.  Let’s let these folks know that enough is enough.  We are sick of their snake-oil pitches.  We are sick of their legal tools of abuse to take children from their mothers and place them with the abuser.

Our Upcoming Conference:

Parental Alienation Syndrome: Past, Present and Future

will be held on

October 2nd & October 3rd, 2010

at the

Stern Auditorium

Mount Sinai School of Medicine

One Gustave L. Levy Place

New York, NY 10029-6574

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