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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.

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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