issues - PAS Book
Stealing The Minds Of Our Children
A Diabolical Plot in Family Courts All Over The World to Steal
Our Children And Teach Them How To Hate.
The Inside Story Of Parental Alienation Syndrome
(PAS) And Its Tragic Effects On So Many Children And Families
BY WILLIAM KIRKENDALE, PRESIDENT
THE PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME FOUNDATION OF AMERIC
INTRODUCTION: A Parent living everyday with
a PAS tragedy.....PAS and September 11th
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: William Kirkendale
THE REAL STORY ABOUT PAS CHILD ABUSE
CHAPTER ONE: THE TRAGIC EFFECTS OF PAS ON CHILDREN
1. What is PAS and how does it affect your
2. What are the most easily recognizable symptoms
of PAS in yur child?
3. Seeing these symptoms in an actual case
4. A closer look at these symptoms in more
5. Other tell tale signs of the PAS in your
CHAPTER TWO: THE ROLE OF ALIENATING PARENTS
IN PAS ABUSE
. 1.Why PAS alienating parents act and behave
the way they do
2. Thirty (30) Common Techniques used by PAS
alienating parents against a target parent to foster PAS abuse
in their children
3. What to expect from other people when your
child or children have been emotionally abused by PAS
4. Why a target parent is no match for an alienating
parent? The Big Lie Theory & the story of Three Blind
5. A list of DO’s & DON’Ts
when confronted with PAS abuse in your child or children
6. The art of PAS brainwashing. How PAS is
cleverly programmed into a child’s mind by alienating
parents to carry out their emotional abuse of their children
BEWARE OF YOUR FAMILY COURT SYSTEM IN PAS CHILD ABUSE CASES
CHAPTER THREE: JUDGES OF THE FAMILY COURT
1. What a GOOD AND CARING Judge should be like
in the Family Court - A Fable- “Who should be our Ministers
of Trust in these PAS child abuse cases”?
2. What a GOOD and CARING California Family
Court Judge says about PAS child abuse. What another GOOD
and CARING Judge says about how he handles things in his court
to avoid PAS cases.
3. The terrible cost to you of not having a GOOD and CARING
Judge in your PAS case.
4. How you can spot a GOOD Judge and a BAD
Judge....Using your own Family Court Judge Questionnaire to
avoid having a BAD Judge in your PAS case
5. What if you have a BAD judge in your PAS
case? How will you and your children be treated by the Court?
How much abuse by the system will you and your children have
6. What are some of the REFORMS needed to prevent
these PAS child abuse cases from happening in the Family Court
7. A look at some really BAD Judges who promote
this emotional PAS abuse in children
8. Questions you need to ask about whether
any of these BAD Judges care about you and your PAS abused
9. What are the “BEST INTERESTS”
of your children in these PAS cases. The TOP 10 rules to combat
Judicial arrogance and ignorance so that your child does not
wind up as a PAS victim.
CHAPTER FOUR: PAS LEGAL CITATIONS TO USE &
HOW TO ORGANIZE YOUR PAS INFORMATION AND MATERIALS FOR THE
1. How to organize yourself and all your PAS
2. PAS LEGAL CITATIONS from all over the world
for target parents to use in Court with their Judge where
this kind of PAS emotional child abuse has occurred
CHAPTER FIVE: LAWYERS OF THE FAMILY COURT
1. Not all lawyers wear white hats.... What
you need to watch out for in your spouse’s lawyer if
you have a PAS case on your hands... A GOOD CASE EXAMPLE of
how an alienating spouse’s lawyer can conspire in the
PAS abuse of your child... Brainwashing 101
CHAPTER SIX: PSYCHOLOGISTS OF THE FAMILY COURT
1. A LIST OF NINE (9) PERILS you need to avoid
when dealing with Court appointed psychologists in PAS cases
2. How to avoid these PERILS..PLUS.. A short
psychologist questionnaire you should use.
3. The types of evaluations these psychologists
should be doing in PAS cases
KNOW THAT YOU ARE NOT ALONE WITH YOUR PAS PROBLEMS
CHAPTER SEVEN: PAS E-MAILS FROM PARENTS JUST
1.The Kathy Sanderson Story of a young mother’s
fight to save her PAS affected children who died in a car
accident before she was able to do so
2. A look at some other e-mails by other PAS
SUMMING IT ALL UP ABOUT PAS
CHAPTER EIGHT: A PLAN FOR MEDIATION AND INTERVENTION
1. A complete guide to PAS mediation and intervention
written for the American Bar Association
2. A list of Internet web sites on PAS where
you can go to for help
EATING, SLEEPING AND LIVING WITH PAS CHILD ABUSE
Hello Everybody: My name is William Kirkendale
and I am the father of a severely PAS abused child. Over the
last ten years I have personally lived, eaten, slept and been
obsessed with the subject of PAS like no other person in the
World that I know of. During this time I have read over 1,000
books, articles and studies on PAS; I have also scoured the
Internet and public libraries everywhere for any information
I could find on PAS; and I have corresponded with over 10,000
distraught, hurting and totally frustrated parents from all
over the Globe who have written me about their own PAS horror
And why Have I done all these things? Because
ten years ago before the World knew anything about PAS, I
had a once adoring and loving child of mine physically, emotionally
and every other way you can think of, stolen, kidnapped, and
then tortured and murdered right under the watchful eye of
my local Family Court and several of its Judges. I didn’t
know then what was happening to both of us to harm and destroy
our once very close and loving relationship that we enjoyed
together for 12 years, but I certainly do now, and have for
the last eight years. It was and still is one of the worst
cases of PAS you could ever imagine.
What I discovered was this human tragedy and
scourge of PAS. A terrible emotional and psychological disorder
in young children of divorce that ten years ago was virtually
unknown. Today, however, it is an epidemic of unbelievable
What happened in my case, just like in so many
other cases I hear about, was a concentrated and premeditated
effort by my former wife and her (convicted felon) lawyer
at the time, together with a bunch of uneducated, uncaring
and arrogant Judges and several Freudian quack psychologists
who had all gone out of their way to conspire with each other
to inculcate, support and encourage this PAS disorder in my
daughter. And why did they do this? Because they didn’t
know what they were doing, and when I told them they didn’t
know what they were doing they all began to hate and despise
me with a passion. In other words they didn’t want to
hear the truth about themselves from me.
All this was done so quickly and well that
before I ever knew what was happening my daughter had become
a completely different person than I had known for 12 years.
Defying everything I knew about her she took to acting and
behaving like a cult member determined to turn her back on
me, her family and anyone else she ever knew that was kind
and loving to her. She did this, I found out later, for no
other reason than she was locked in fear of her captors and
abusers and felt the compelling need to please them. It has
now been ten years since this happened and she has never once
looked back to ever see, feel or think about all the pain
and suffering she has caused me, her family and herself by
what she was programmed and brainwashed to do out of her fear.
While I didn’t know it at the time that
I have now come to learn is this. What the courts and my former
wife and my daughter did to all of us and herself is nothing
new for many children of divorce these days. I have discovered
that children like my daughter do this all the time to parents
both during and after a divorce...and they do it because hundreds
of thousands of sick and evil parents, along with their equally
sick and evil lawyers are allowed by the Courts every year
to emotionally abuse and torture these children at will and
inculcate them with this terrible scourge we now call PAS.
Teaching children to hate is a way of life for them.
Whenever I get an e-mail or a letter from a
parent asking me about PAS, and I get about 4,000 a year,
I always hear the same story.... “I have a child or
children that once adored me that now hate me and I couldn’t
figure out why until I heard about PAS. Now at least I have
a name for what my kids are doing. What can you do to help
Of course, I knew exactly how they felt because
that was the one burning question I had asked myself when
this happened to me ten years ago. How could a child that
once loved and adored her father now turn on him so suddenly
without any good reason? It just didn’t make any sense
to me so I had to grope around for answers that no one could
seem to help me with.
Being a fairly intelligent person, however,
I did suspect that because of my divorce at the time my daughter
was probably very angry and confused about things and not
too happy with me. I also suspected that her mother and her
lawyer were trying as hard as they could to exploit my daughter’s
anger and confusion about the divorce. Never in a million
years, however, did I ever think she would become such an
easy prey and victim to what they were doing. The sad fact
is, now that I know about PAS and what terrible effects it
can have on children, I couldn’t have been more wrong
in my naive assessment of things if I tried. This type of
PAS abuse is overwhelming to these terribly angry and vulnerable
What I have also since discovered about my
case is the same as with almost all PAS cases. I was totally
ignorant about our court system and what kind of human cruelty
and evil certain people in the court system are capable of.
I also didn’t know how easily young vulnerable and angry
children can be brainwashed, swayed, exploited, programmed
and convinced to act and behave in such a hateful, harmful,
hurtful and anti-social manner toward one of their parents
and other family members they once loved and adored. And finally
what I have learned is that short of hiring someone to go
out and kidnap your children back so they can be completely
reprogrammed and isolated from their abusing parent, there
is little or nothing you can do to save them or yourself from
the lifetime of pain and suffering this PAS scourge causes.
That is unless you know exactly what PAS is and how you can
successfully combat it with your children in the courts in
an effective manner, and even then there are still many obstacles
you will have to overcome, and not the least of those is the
Family Court itself and Judges who are completely ignorant
In America today, and indeed throughout the
World, there is supposed to be a competent and incorruptible
legal and Judicial system in place to prevent these kinds
of things from happening to these victimized children and
parents. Unfortunately, however, this is only a pipe dream
as in reality there is no such system in place.
Oh there is a legal and Judicial system out
there all right, but in name only, as it doesn’t have
a clue about what goes on in their corrupt little world to
cause so much pain and emotional suffering to these victimized
children and their parents, nor do they even care that they
have no clue. I refer to this legal and Judicial system as
being just like the old predatory dinosaurs of the earth.
First, just like the dinosaurs, these people are big and powerful
and among the worst predators the world has ever known and
they can cause more damage and destruction than one could
ever imagine. History tells us, however, that while these
dinosaurs were big and powerful they were also doomed to extinction
because the world would not put up with all the human carnage
and destruction they caused. This will also soon happen to
our Family Court system, as no civilized society can put up
with the kind of abuse of children and the family as this
system does to them every day.
You ask 100 people who have been through one
of these Family Court systems if they have any trust or respect
for the law or the system, and 99 people out of those 100
will tell you they don’t and never have. As for why
they don’t and never have I think this will become obvious
to you as you read what I have to say in this book about their
complicity in the harm and PAS abuse of so many innocent children
and their equally victimized parents. The number is in the
millions throughout the world.
So let me say this to all those terribly sad,
tormented and frustrated PAS affected parents out there, including
I might add many step parents and grandparents, who all have
a desperate need to hear about PAS and learn the truth about
how and why it is happening to you and your child or children
or grandchildren. I know your pain and as such I have prepared
this PAS Primer for you to read and pass along to all those
who are doing to your child or children or grandchildren what
was done to my child. While it may or may not help you get
your child or children back, it at least will let you know
that you are not alone and perhaps show you a way that might
help you be able to get them back. I hope it also helps you
to understand why and how this has happened to you and who
is to blame for what you’ve been through. I wish you
all God’s speed in your efforts.
I would like to say that I first wrote these
words and this book a year ago before the tragedy of September
11th, 2001. The day that America was attacked by terrorists
and the world changed forever. Now this story of PAS has taken
on new meaning for me which before I go on I would like to
share with you.
On the morning of September 11th 2001 the matter
of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) took on a whole new
meaning for me. I, along with millions of other people in
the world, stood there that morning and watched with disbelief
and horror as America was attacked by a dozen or so terrorists
from another country that hated us. Terrorists who were all
young men in their 20's or early 30's who had been brainwashed
and programmed by the worst evil doers in the World to hate
America and all that it stood for.
In the process of carrying out their mission
of hate that morning on September 11th, they and the people
who brainwashed them to do this evil deed murdered thousands
of innocent people and destroyed the lives of millions more.
They also gave up their own lives as a final act of misguided
loyalty to the people who had taught them to hate others in
such an evil and passionate manner. In effect these terrorists
were nothing but pawns in a war they had been exposed to from
the time they were young children. That is when they were
first taught and brainwashed to hate America, so that they
would then grow up and carry out the evil bidding of their
For the last ten years now I have been screaming
out to America and the World that millions of America's children
are being emotionally tortured and brainwashed every single
day in the warlike atmosphere of our Family Court system.
In this war these innocent young children are also being used
as pawns, but in this case they are not being taught to hate
another country, they are being taught to hate one of their
parents. Unfortunately my concerns for the welfare of our
children in America in this regard has completely fallen on
deaf ears. And what is this evil danger I have been warning
people about for ten years where no one has listened. It is
an ever growing world wide scourge against children called
Parental Alienation Syndrome, or PAS for short.
Simply put PAS is a disease of the human heart
and soul of our children that is spread by warring parents
and unscrupulous lawyers, Judges and psychologists in an evil
divorce court system infecting literally millions of innocent
and unsuspecting children every year. Call it if you will
a children's holocaust of the mind and spirit. What is happening
to these children is the same thing that happened to the terrorists
of September 11th when they were children. They were all taught
to act and behave without conscience or remorse and to hate
other people and to make these people suffer immeasurably.
The loss of life and the loss of parents and loved ones meant
nothing to these people while they were children and so when
they grew up it meant nothing to them then either. Hating
people for no good reason other than what they were taught
was a way of life for them, and still is.
On my web site at www.familycourts.com you
will see a great deal of information about this disease of
PAS; however after September 11th most, if not all, of that
information I believe has to be updated in light of the September
11th attack on America. Yes the same symptoms of this disease
are there, and yes the description of the disease is still
the same, BUT there is now a brand new way to look at this
disease and what it can do to the children who suffer from
it as they grow into adulthood.
I say this information needs to be updated
because I have always known that PAS was a terrible disease
that instilled hate into young and vulnerable children by
brainwashing.... BUT What I never fully realized was what
this hate could eventually turn into the kinds of things I
saw on September 11th. Hatred so strong and unchecked that
it would prompt otherwise normal human beings to act like
the devil himself with no moral conscience toward their fellow
human beings in a way that is impossible to fathom. And why
did they do this? Because they were taught to do these kinds
of terrible and evil things to innocent people.
People flying planes filled with innocent passengers
into buildings at 8:00 in the morning killing themselves and
over 5,000 innocent people as they sat at their desks at work.
What kind of a diabolical person would do this? I'll tell
you what kind. A person that has spent all of their life as
children and young adults being programmed and brainwashed
to hate other human beings. That's what kind of a person it
is who would do this.
So if that is true about these terrorist hijackers,
and it is, then why wouldn't the same thing be true about
all the thousands of innocent children every year in America
and throughout the world who are taught to hate one of their
parents. A hatred which then leads to their inculcation of
PAS. A disease of the mind and spirit in children so evil
that I now refer to it as a children's holocaust. I'd like
someone to show me the difference. The fact is you can't show
me any difference because teaching children to hate is the
same whether you do it on the streets of Afghanistan or in
the Family Court rooms of America and the world. Children
who are taught to hate are the same all over the world.
Let me take you through a comparison of teaching
children to hate in Afghanistan and in America and other free
world countries. In Afghanistan many young children are being
taught by evil people to hate Americans and all that America
stands for. In America many young children are being taught
by the same kind of evil people to hate not a country and
its people, but one of their parents and all they stand for.
How terrible and evil is that?
As part of this brainwashing of hate in both
countries these emotional abused and tortured children are
taught to totally disrespect those who they are being taught
to hate, and to not care one bit about the feelings or the
sadness or the pain they may cause people because of their
hate. They also are taught to give up their own lives if necessary
for the cause they have been brainwashed into believing. In
America these PAS brainwashed children are taught that one
of their parents are evil. Therefore you have to hate them
with such a passion so as to cause them as much human pain
and suffering as you can.
The facts about PAS are now clear as a bell
to me. If you find yourself as a parental victim of a child
with PAS, then you must look at what I am about to say to
you. If you have any doubt whatsoever about what I am telling
you then I hope this will remove any of that doubt. What I
want to do is present you with the facts about PAS children
and then ask you if you can see any similarity to what the
children of Afghanistan are taught to do and what if any correlation
you see as to what happened on September 11th.
In PAS children this is how they behave as
both children and adults after they have been taught to hate
by their emotional captors.
1.The PAS child hates and denigrates the alienated
parent with foul language and severe disrespectful, hostile
and completely unwarranted oppositional behavior. The word
"fanatic" comes to mind in describing this kind
2.The PAS child offers only coached, weak,
absurd, or frivolous reasons for his or her anger, hatred
and denigration of the alienated parent. "I hate my father
because my mother says he is a bad man".
3.The PAS child is absolutely sure of him or
herself and doesn’t demonstrate any ambivalence whatsoever.
(i.e. only undying loyalty and love for the alienating parent
who they perceive as "all good", and only undying
hatred and contempt for the alienated parent who they perceive
as "all bad".
4.The PAS child exhorts that he or she alone
came up with their ideas of hatred and denigration. The "independent-thinker"
phenomenon is where the child asserts that no one told him/her
to do this, they arrived at all this hatred and denigration
5.The PAS child supports and feels a need to
protect the alienating parent, largely out of fear of the
6.The PAS child does not demonstrate any guilt
or remorse over his or her cruelty towards the alienated parent
or over any pain and suffering they may cause the alienated
7.The PAS Child uses borrowed scenarios, or
vividly describes situations that he or she could never have
8. Animosity, hatred and denigration is also
spread by the PAS child to include the friends and/or extended
family members of the alienated parent. In other words because
the child has been taught to hate the father or the mother,
they also must hate the grandfather or the grandmother as
Okay now that you've seen these behavioral
patterns of an emotionally abused and brainwashed PAS child
in America what do you see here that can be applied to the
children in Afghanistan.... and how being taught to hate this
way as children could have easily led to what some of these
children did as adults on September 11th? Do you see the same
things I do?
My purpose in pointing these things out to
you is to show you that we can no longer allow this to happen
to our children here in America. We are now in a war on terrorism
and if we mean what we say then we also have to wage war on
our own domestic terrorism against innocent children and parents
of divorce emanating out of our evil and destructive Family
Court system. That is the lesson of September 11th and that
is the lesson we must all now learn and take heed of with
the unchecked spread of America's own disease of emotional
terrorism we call PAS. Hopefully this book will help us do
William Kirkendale, Founder and President
The PAS Foundation of America
The Family Court Reform Council
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
The author, William Kirkendale, is a highly
successful California Insurance executive who has spent the
last ten years trying to reform our present Family Court system.
He is the founder and president of The Family Court reform
Council of America (FCRC) and the author of a recent book
entitled “America’s Family Courts...A Cancer on
the Nation”. He is also a strong advocate for children
and children’s rights and because of his own personal
and very painful experience with Parental Alienation Syndrome
(PAS) he has become an extremely knowledgeable source and
help for other victimized parents and children who have had
to deal with this problem originating out of the Family Court
system. Recently he formed the National Parental Alientation
Syndrome Foundation to help people with their individual PAS
problems with their children.
Mr. Kirkendale is the father of six wonderful
children and nine young grandchildren, who in addition to
raising his own family worked for over 20 years with handicapped
children and adults through his association with the world
famous Human Resources Center and the Henry Viscardi School
for handicapped children in Albertson New York. He served
on both of their Boards of Directors and was also one of the
founders and past Presidents of one of New York State’s
most successful Easter Seal Society chapters.
Because of Mr. Kirkendale’s many years
of work with these organizations he was awarded the Human
Resources Center’s highest honor, the Presidents award,
for his outstanding dedication and service to the Nation’s
handicapped. Mr. Kirkendale currently works here in California
as a volunteer advisor and consultant to the National Center
for the Employment of the Handicapped where he gives of his
time and energy to try and help all those less fortunate than
himself to secure a better life through meaningful employment
rather than a government handout.
Mr. Kirkendale found out when he moved to California,
as we all find out sooner or later at some point in life,
that no one can really escape problems or handicaps. As a
result of his own problems and severe handicaps with the Family
Court system here in California, when one of his daughters
was kidnapped and emotionally tortured by a convicted felon
right under the watchful eye and nose of the California Family
Court system, he began to see first hand how truly morally
corrupt and bankrupted the system was. During his struggles
to try and rescue his daughter and effect some meaningful
change and reform of the system he soon began to hear from
thousands of other people throughout the country who were
experiencing the very same problems and troubles with the
system he had encountered. It was then that he formed The
Family Court Reform Council and set up his own internet web
site, www.familycourts.com to alert and educate people about
all the many evils this system was bringing to so many families
These evils he quickly realized were being
created solely by the system itself and had as its primary
target all the innocent children of divorce. Children who,
like his own daughter, were to become merely convenient pawns
and weapons of greedy divorce lawyers (or in cases like his
also convicted felons and child pornographer lawyers) as well
as many times angry revenge seeking abusive parents trying
any way they could to manipulate the system for their own
selfish purposes. This was done he found out by taking advantage
of mostly incompetent Judges, overcrowded courts, and unskilled
court mediators and evaluators. The best interests of children
and families weren’t being served under this system,
only the selfish interests of abusing parents and greedy lawyers
and therapists were being served.
While resistance to change by these Family
Courts and the legal profession itself, who feeds off maintaining
the status quo of the current system, still remains a formidable
obstacle to overcome, Mr. Kirkendale nonetheless strongly
believes that because of what happened to his daughter and
to so many more like her, the tide of change cannot be held
back any longer. In fighting his fight for this much needed
change and reform he merely points out the fact that neither
he nor any of his five other children and seven grandchildren
have seen or spoken one word to his youngest daughter, their
sister, their aunt, and their friend in over eight years because
of this system. If that is what this state and this court
and this country thinks is serving the best interests of children
and families, he tells everyone, then this Family Court system
here in California and elsewhere where these same kinds of
things happen on a daily basis is nothing more than a sham
and a fraud on the moral and spiritual conscience of our entire
nation and the world.
THE REAL STORY OF PAS CHILD ABUSE
THE TRAGIC EFFECTS OF PAS ON CHILDREN
WHAT IS PAS AND HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOUR CHILD
The parental alienation syndrome (PAS) is defined
as.... a disorder in children that arises primarily in the
context of child-custody disputes in our Family Courts. Its
primary manifestation is the child’s on going and many
times relentless campaign of programmed hatred and denigration
against a parent, a campaign that has no justification whatsoever.
It results from the combination of a programming (brainwashing)
parent’s indoctrinations and the child’s own contributions
to the vilification of the target (alienated) parent, and
in my opinion as a medical doctor and child psychologist,
is one of the worst forms of parental child abuse there is.
Excerpted from: Gardner, R.A. (1998). The Parental
Alienation Syndrome, Second Edition, Cresskill, NJ: Creative
“I hate you, I hate you, I hate
you...and I never want to see you again”. Sound like
a husband or wife screaming at each other during their divorce?
Well not exactly. These are not the angry cries of adult parents
of divorce. These are the angry cries of young children of
divorce. Angry, confused and emotionally tortured children
in extreme pain who are taking out all their anger against
one of their parents. And why is all this anger being directed
at only one parent and not both parents? The answer is as
simple as it is disturbing
What you see here is not merely an abberation
only happening on rare occasions with these children. Sadly
this is happening routinely in divorce situations all across
the country on a daily basis. It is occuring with alarming
frequency as the direct result of one of the worst forms of
parental child abuse there is. Abuse we now have a name for
which describes the premeditated emotional abuse and systematic
brainwashing of children by one parent to unjustly hate and
despise the other parent. In medical terms this is called
“Parental Alienation” which in turn leads to a
very serious and severe emotional disorder in children called
“Parental Alienation Syndome, or PAS for short.
They say that one act of such inhumane cruelty
as we see in these cases can take the very life out of people
forever...and with this PAS disorder in these severely alientated
and abused children that follows this kind of inhumane Parental
Alienation cruelty, this is exactly what happens. And it happens
to both the parents who are now the target and object of this
unjustified hatred and the abused child or children themselves
who are also innocent victims of this kind of abuse.
You simply can’t imagine what kind of
pain and suffering this type of thing brings to affected parents
and their children. In many ways it is worse than the death
of a parent or a child. This is because for the child it means
they will never again have the once close loving relationship
they had with the parent they now say they hate....And for
the now supposedly hated parent, they will have lost a child
forever that was once the center of their universe.
So what is this PAS condition in these children
that so badly hurts and destroys their lives and the lives
of their now supposedly hated parents, and how can you spot
it when you see it? I will now give you all the answers and
information you need to help you undeerstand and deal with
COMMON AND EASILY RECOGNIZED SYMPTOMS OF THE CHILD’S
ROLE IN PAS
Dr. Gardner notes quite specifically that PAS
is more than brainwashing or programming, because the child
has to actually participate in the denigrating of the alienated
parent. This is done in primarily the following eight ways:
1.The child denigrates the alienated parent
with foul language and severe disrespectful, hostile and completely
unwarranted oppositional behavior.
2.The child offers only weak, absurd, or frivolous
reasons for his or her anger and denigration of the alienated
3.The child is sure of him or herself and doesn’t
demonstrate any ambivalence whatsoever. (i.e. only love for
the alienating parent who they perceive as "all good",
and only hate for the alienated parent who they perceive as
4.The child exhorts that he or she alone came
up with ideas of denigration. The "independent-thinker"
phenomenon is where the child asserts that no one told him/her
to do this.
5.The child supports and feels a need to protect
the alienating parent, largely out of fear of the alienating
6.The child does not demonstrate any guilt
or remorse over his or her cruelty towards the alienated parent.
7.The child uses borrowed scenarios, or vividly
describes situations that he or she could not have experienced.
8.Animosity and denigration is also spread
by the child to include the friends and/or extended family
members of the alienated parent.
9. In severe cases of parent alienation, the
child is utterly brainwashed against the alienated parent.
The alienator can thus truthfully say that the child doesn’t
want to spend any time with the other parent, even though
they have told the child that he or she has to, or it is a
court order, etc.
The alienator then typically responds, "See
there isn’t anything that I can do about it. I’m
not telling the child that he/she can’t see you."
He/she is making his/her own decisions in this matter. This,
of course, is absolutely preposterous because can you imagine
any good and decent responsible parent looking out for the
best interests of their children and others saying the same
thing if their child said "they didn't want to go to
school any more".... or "they wanted to experiment
with alcohol and drugs", or they wanted to stay out all
night with their girlfriends/boyfriends, or they wanted to
take a gun to school, etc. etc.)
HOW CAN YOU TELL A PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME (PAS) CASE
WHEN YOU SEE IT? EASY, LOOK AT THIS CASE EXAMPLE
You can easily spot a severe PAS case when
you see something like this actual e-mail exchange between
a PAS inculcated child and her mother who the child now says
she hates. A mother that this young 12 year old child once
loved dearly but who now has been taught by her father to
hate her mother in the way you can see clearly demonstrated
in this e-mail conversation ....This is about as good a description
of PAS in a child as you can find.
Daughter: what do you want
Mother: I would like to talk to you
Mother: because I love you and I miss you
Daughter: I don't care I don’t love you or miss you
Mother: well I still love you and I always will
Mother: I would like to see you on Thanksgiving
Mother: why not sweetie???
Mother: This is my weekend to have you guys
Daughter: o well I don't care
Daughter: I don't care what you want
Daughter: I’m not coming
Daughter: I don't like you
Mother: Please remember that the judge said that I have a
right to visitation
Daughter: I don't care
Daughter: go ahead take me back to court
Daughter: lets go
Mother: why are you being so hostile??? I am not being mean
or nasty to you
Daughter: don't call me sweetheart or hunny or anything anymore
Daughter: I don't care
Daughter: you were nasty to me all my life
Daughter: so now its my turn
Daughter: and don't say I love you to me anymore
Mother: No I wasn't...I have always loved you and was not
nasty to you your whole life
Daughter: yes you were
Mother: I think that you are exaggerating just a bit sweetie
Daughter: excuse my language but you were a nasty bitch all
Daughter: god dang it mom
Mother: honey...you know that isn't true....
Daughter: god damn it don't call me that
Mother: I always did what was best for you guys
Mother: please don't curse at me
Daughter: then don't call me honey sweetie or baby anymore
Mother: I'm sorry, I am just used to calling you sweetie
Daughter: well don’t
Daughter: how would you like it if I started calling you witch
Mother: why is it that you said you loved me a few weeks ago
and now I am such a monster
Daughter: because I didn't want to hurt your feelings
Daughter: but now I just don't care
Mother: Jane (not the child’s real name), we need to
talk about things and try to work this out
Daughter: its not going to happen
Mother: But I love you and like I said I always will...no
Daughter: ok ok ok
Daughter: don't say that to me anymore
Daughter: I mean it
Mother: why can't I say that I love you????
Daughter: because I don't want you to
Mother: You and your brother need both parents...we both love
Daughter: omg mom mom mom mom
Daughter: stop saying that
Daughter: I only want dad to say he loves me
Daughter: not you
Mother: But I am your mother and want to be a part of your
Daughter: well I don’t want you to be part of my life
Daughter: and I don’t care what you want or think
Mother: I am not going to stop trying to be a part of your
Daughter: you better
Mother: You are very important
Daughter: because its not gonna happen
Daughter: not gonna happen
Daughter: so leave me alone
Mother: I still think it is important that you have both parents
in your life
Daughter: no I only want one with me
Daughter: so bye
Mother: I love you Jane
Daughter: no I shouldn't even be saying bye
Daughter: shut up
Daughter: stop it
Daughter: I told you to stop
A CLOSER LOOK AT PAS SYMPTOMS IN CHILDREN IN MORE DETAIL
Now how’s that for an angry, confused
and hate filled young child who has been taught to hate her
own mother by her father?
Let us now take a look at some specific symptoms
and characteristics of PAS in more detail and apply them to
this e-mail exchange between this mother and her daughter.
1. Typically the PAS abused child is obsessed
with “hatred” of the target parent. Gardner puts
the word “hatred” in quotes because he says that
there are still many tender and loving feelings toward this
target parent that are not permitted expression.
2. The child speaks of this hated parent with
every vilification and profanity in their vocabulary. The
child also shows absolutely no respect for the parent whatsoever,
as if they were the parent and the parent were the child.
3. The vilification of the target parent often
has the rehearsed quality of a litany as if a record in their
mind was turned on and they were giving a command performance.
4. The child may try and justify the alienation
and “hatred” of the target parent with years old
memories of minor altercations with the hated parent. Usually
these justifications are frivolous and absurd and almost always
when pressed for clarification or more information about them
are met with complete silence or a litany of “I don’t
5. The child exhibits a complete lack of ambivalence
that characterizes normal parent child relationships. With
the PAS abused child the so-called “hated” parent
is viewed as all bad and the so-called “loved parent”
as all good. Again Gardner put the words “hated”
and “loved” parent in quotes because he says these
children really don’t hate anyone; however there is
usually great hostility toward and fear of the so-called “loved
parent”, which the child is unable to express out of
their fear of this parent.
6. The child will usually exhibit a guiltless
disregard for the feelings of the “hated” parent.
There is a complete absence of gratitude for gifts, support
payments, and other evidence of the “hated” parent’s
desire for continued involvement and affection with the child.
Often these children will want to be certain the so-called
“hated” parent continues to provide support payments,
but at the same time will adamantly refuse to visit. Commonly
they will say they never want to see that parent again.
7. The child is usually never intimidated by
the Court and will say that they don’t care what the
Judge or the Court says about them being required to visit
the “hated” parent. This will usually mirror the
alienating parent’s view that they don’t care
what the Court or the Judge says either.
8. And finally the PAS child’s so-called
“hatred” of the target parent often includes that
parent’s extended family as well. Cousins, aunts, uncles,
grandparents and even siblings or step siblings with whom
the child previously may have had a loving relationship with,
are all now detested.
What I have shown you in the previous e-mail
exchange between this mother and her daughter is typical of
these PAS abused children and how angry and emotionally disturbed
all these children are. Just to give you some more proof of
how badly this mother’s children have been brainwashed
to “hate” her, let me now show you this same mother’s
e-mail exchange with her 14 year old son that occurred within
a few days of the one she had with her daughter... Remember
to look here also for all of the PAS symptoms and characteristics
I just described from Dr. Gardner that are present in both
of these children.
Son: don't talk to me
Mother: please talk to me
Son: um..... no
Mother: but I love you sweetie
Son: I don't love you
Mother: why not
Son: because just don't you are mean and I wish I never had
you for a mom
Mother: Honey...why do you say that I am mean
Son: mom you are you always were and don't say you weren't
Mother: I wasn't...I have always loved you and always did
things for you and your sister
Mother: John (not his real name), my whole life centered around
you and Jane (not her real name) and you know that
Son: no it did not so leave me alone and I am never going
to go to your house ever'
Son: nice try with the cop
Mother: I only did what the judge told me to do
Son: sure you did
Mother: I did...ask your dad
Son: I don't care I am never going to your house
Mother: we have to be able to get past this
Son: I have a good idea how about I don't see you ever again
Mother: tell me something...why did you try and have me arrested
Son: phone harassment
Mother: all I did was call you to talk...then when I called
back the second time it was because you said Jane would be
home at that time
Son: you called more than twice
Son: you liar
Mother: are you proud that you tried to have me arrested for
Son: I don't want to see you
Mother: why? all I have ever wanted is to be a part of your
Son: no the only reason you want me is for money
Son: you don't care about me and I don't care cause I don't
Mother: that is not true...I am willing to let your father
have custody...I am the one paying support...I just want to
Son: I don't want to see you
Mother: Honey...I only left your father...I never wanted to
leave you guys
Mother: you two are my life...I just want to be a part of
Note: At this point the son terminates the conversation.
I should point out that about a month before
these two exchanges took place between this mother and both
of her children, each of these children visited with their
mother and enjoyed a wonderful time together as they had many
times in the past. It was only after they went back home to
their father did their attitude toward their mother change,
which had been a similar pattern of behavior with both of
them for some time since their parent’s divorce. They
had fun with their mother and loved her to death when they
were with her, but when they went back to their father’s
house they suddenly began to “hate” their mother.
What you have seen in this particular case
is what I see all the time in these PAS cases, including my
own daughter’s PAS case nine years ago. Every week I
get hundreds of letters and e-mails from parents all over
the world that describe almost in the exact same detail as
this case and my own case what has gone on with their PAS
abused children. Is this merely a coincidence, or is this
something that has gotten out of hand and has begun to spread
the world over completely unchecked? As we go on I will let
you decide this for yourself. Incidentally when I say the
world over, I’m not exaggerating because as you will
see later I even received one of these PAS e-mails from Russia
and have received many more from countries all across the
OTHER TELL TALE SIGNS OF PAS
As I said before I see this kind of patented behavior in these
PAS abused children I just showed you every single day of
the year. There are a few other tell tale signs of this PAS
abuse, however, you need to look for in these children, so
here are a few of the more common tell tale signs.
1) When you see in a child Rejection - The
child's legitimate need for a relationship with both parents
is rejected. The child has good reason to fear rejection and
abandonment by the alienating parent if they should ever express
positive feelings about the other parent and the people and
activities associated with that parent.
2) When you see a child who is Emotionally
Terrified of the Target Parent for no reason expressed - The
child is bullied or verbally assaulted into being terrified
of the target parent without good cause or reason. The child
is psychologically brutalized into fearing contact with the
target parent and retribution by the alienating parent for
any positive feelings the child might have for the target
parent. Psychological abuse of this type may also be accompanied
by physical abuse in many cases.
3) When you see a child Ignoring one of their
parents for no reason expressed - The alienated target parent
becomes emotionally unavailable to the child by the actions
of the alienating parent, leading to feelings of neglect and
abandonment. Divorced and abusing parents like these types
of PAS alienators selectively withhold love and attention
from the child, which is a subtler form of rejecting which
shapes the child's behavior.
4) When you see a child being Isolated - The
alienating parent isolates the child from the target parent
and normal opportunities for social relations. With the PAS
child they are prevented from participating in normal social
interactions with the target parent and relatives and friends
on that side of the family. In severe PAS cases social isolation
of the child sometimes extends beyond the target parent to
other friends and family members of that parent thus preventing
any social contacts which might foster autonomy and independence
for the child.
5) When you see a child being corrupted - The
child is rewarded and reinforced by the alienating parent
for lying, manipulation, aggression toward others or behavior
which is self destructive and self abusive. In PAS children,
when involved in false allegations of sexual abuse against
a target parent (very common in many divorce and child custody
cases today), the child is also corrupted by repeated involvement
in discussions of deviant sexuality regarding the target parent
or other family and friends associated with that parent. In
some cases of severe PAS, the alienating parent trains the
child to be an agent of aggression against the target parent,
with the child actively participating in deceits and manipulations
for the purpose of harassing and persecuting the target parent.
THE ROLE OF ALIENATING PARENTS IN PAS CHILD ABUSE
WHY PAS ALIENATING PARENTS ACT AND BEHAVE THE WAY THEY DO
If you and your children are victims of a PAS alienating and
abusing ex-spouse, or anyone else they may have recruited
to join in with them to assist them in this abuse, then you
have to be wondering why they would do this to you and your
children. What in the world are these people thinking of anyway,
and why would they even think about doing this to you and
their own children? The answer to that question is quite simple
and follows the normal behavior patterns of abusive parents
and abusive people in general. Here then are some of the reasons
why these abusing parents and others behave and act the way
they do to abuse their children.
1. First of all it must be pointed out that
parents who engage in the cruel and inhumane brainwashing
of their children for the sole purpose of manipulating their
angry and fragile minds to hate and despise their former spouses,
are guilty of nothing less than criminal child abuse...and
don't let anyone try and tell you differently. It is the same
as hitting and beating a defenseless person when they are
down until they are no longer able to defend themselves anymore.
It is pure and simple only bullies and very sick people who
do these kinds of things to weaker individuals.
2. Because these parents don’t know or
understand how to please other people, any effort to do so
always has strings attached. They don’t give; they only
know how to take. They don't know how to love; only how to
hate. They don’t play by the rules and do not obey court
orders. Any appeals for them to use logic or reason for the
best interests of their children will be completely ignored.
Try convincing a bully to stop hitting you and beating up
on you and see how far you get.
3. Abusing and alienating parents are unable
to "individuate" (a psychological term used when
a person is unable to see their child or anyone else as a
separate human being from themselves). These parents are literally
obsessed with their own self-interests and gratification to
the complete exclusion of everyone else, including their own
children. These people are selfish beyond anything imaginable.
4. These abusing and alienating parents are
narcissistic (self-centered) and enmeshed with the child in
a symbiotic (overly involved) relationship. Furthermore, these
parents presume that they have a special entitlement to have
whatever they want. They think that there are rules in life,
but only for other people, not for them. Many times they will
demand you provide support for your children as called for
in their Court order, while a the same time they completely
deny you any contact or visitation which is also called for
in the same Court order. You follow the law, but they don’t
5. These parents are referred to as sociopaths
(people who have no moral conscience). This means that they
are unable to have empathy or compassion for others. Sociopaths
are unable to see a situation from another person’s
point of view, especially their own child’s point-of-view.
They don’t distinguish the way others do between telling
the truth and lying. In fact many of them are pathological
liars, who believe that the bigger the lie they tell, the
more people they will get to believe it...and in Family Court
they can get away with this all the time.
6. In spite of admonitions from Judges and
mental health professionals to stop alienating, they can’t.
The prognosis for a severely alienating parent is poor. It
is unlikely that they will ever "get it." It is
also unlikely that they will ever stop trying to perpetuate
the alienation. It is a gut-wrenching survival issue to them
that overrides any other consideration about what’s
in the best interests of their children.
7. These parents can only be described as mentally
ill and a serious danger and threat to themselves, their children
and society. They know no limits for their cruel and destructive
behavior and they can not separate right from wrong or good
from evil. In short they are among the worst kind of parental
child abusers there are right up there with sexual and physical
abusers. A sexually abused child will most likely never have
happiness or peace in their life. A physically abused child
will also most likely never have happiness or peace in their
life. And in the same way an emotionally abused PAS child
will also most likely never have happiness or peace in their
life. These children will have all been permanently scarred
and ruined for life because of the criminal actions and behavior
of one of their parents.
8. Just as a deadly cancer needs to be cut
out if a person is to live, so too does this deadly cancer
of PAS child abuse need to be cut out of a child's life if
they are to live. There is no such thing in these cases of
a "partial removal" of this cancer. Turning the
abused child or children back over to their abusers to allow
them to be further abused, brainwashed and exploited will
not cure this deadly disease of PAS. In fact it will only
hasten their demise. You don't protect innocent children by
ignoring the obvious dangers they face. This would be like
letting your children play in the street when there are cars
whizzing by at high speeds every minute.
9. To save these children then from a lifetime
of emotional pain and suffering, either the abusing parent
must see that they are killing their own children so that
they will stop their abuse or the children must be completely
removed from any further contact with or influence over their
children. If you don't do this or the court won't do this
then the time will come when these children will be beyond
any help to live and enjoy a normal, peaceful and happy life.
30 OF THE MOST COMMON TECHNIQUES USED BY ALIENATING PARENTS
AGAINST A TARGET PARENT TO FOSTER PAS ABUSE IN THEIR CHILDREN
In order to prevent the devastating effects
of Parental Alienation in your child, you must first begin
by recognizing the common techniques used by alienating parents
against a target parent to achieve their objective. Thirty
of the most common techniques are:
1.The Child is provided by the alienating parent
with options that are not really choices (like visiting).
This furthers the idea in the child that the target parent
is somehow being oppressive and mean by attempting to take
those choices away from them.
2. The Alienating parent will ridicule and
denigrate the target parent in front of the child as if to
say they don't love them and are not worthy of the child’s
love and respect. A child's birthday is a special time of
the year used in various ways to denigrate the target parent
in this regard and try to convince them the target parent
doesn't love them or care about them..
3.The Alienating parent will put the child
in the middle when disputes with the target parent arise and
say things like “if you go to see daddy this weekend
I don’t want you to come back”. This problem is
further compounded when the alienating parent is able to con
ignorant Judges to issue visitation orders that give the child
a choice as to whether they wish to see or visit with the
target parent or not. I’ve seen this happen with children
as young as seven (7) years old, if you can believe it.
4.The Alienating parent encourages the child
to not want to take new toys or clothes to the target parent’s
home for fear they will be destroyed.
5.The Alienating parent does not inform the
target parent of school events, medical visits or other life
events of the child that both parents would normally be involved
6. The Alienating parent makes sure that the
target parent is not provided access to see their children
at school or obtain class pictures, report cards or attend
parent/teacher conferences. They do this by either giving
the school phony court orders or by writing a letter to the
school saying the target parent has no legal right to see
their child at school or receive any records.
7.The Alienating parent purposely destroys
all pictures and fond childhood remembrances and memories
of the target parent and the child together, as if none of
these fond remembrances and memories with the target parent
8. The Child is overly informed all the time
by the alienating parent about former family problems and
9.The Alienating parent demonstrates an unwillingness
to cooperate in adhering to visiting times with the target
parent. They are also uncooperative in making changes to the
target parent's visiting times should it become necessary.
10.The Target parent shows up extremely early
for visitation pickups or deliveries and the alienating parent
makes the child wait for them.
11.The Child is encouraged by the alienating
parent to participate in so many extracurricular activities
that it interferes with target parent's visitation.
12.The Child is taught and encouraged by the
alienating parent to display outspoken criticism, ridicule
and contempt for target parent's life (financial success,
13.The Alienating parent encourages the child
to say that step-brothers or sisters are "not really
their sisters or brothers".
14.The Alienating parent blames the target
parent for problems or difficulties in the alienating parent's
15.Suggestions made by the alienating parent
that the target parent may be abusive when no evidence is
16.The Alienating parent encourages the child
to show disrespect for the target parent’s effort at
disciplining the child or saying “no” to the child.
17.The Alienating parent purposely moves so
far away as to make visitations by target parent extremely
inconvenient and difficult.
18.The Alienating parent forces child to give
a “report” to them about things done during visitation
with the target parent.
19.Repetitive denigration and allegations being
made over and over again like a broken record by the alienating
parent against the target parent.
20.The Alienating parent threatens to take
the target parent back to court in front of the child or dares
the target parent to take them back to court.
21.The Alienating parent uses child support
as a way to denigrate the target parent by saying because
they don't pay their child support they don't love their children..or
the only reason they want more time with their children is
because it would lower their child support obligation..
22.The Alienating parent tells child that it
is because of the target parent they have to go to court so
23.The Alienating parent forces the child to
speak with target parent on a speakerphone.
24.The Alienating parent refuses to allow child
to talk on the phone with target parent saying "he is
busy" or "she doesn't want to talk to you right
25.The Child and alienating parent are unable
to be contacted on special occasions (Christmas, birthdays,
etc.) by the target parent.
26.Messages left on an answering machine by
the target parent are rarely answered and phone calls are
27.The Alienating parent makes sure that the
target parent's name and contact information is not provided
on school records.
28.The Alienating parent makes child communicate
with the target parent through their lawyer.
29.The Alienating parent tries to sway the
child's court appointed guardian against the target parent.
30.The Alienating parent refuses to allow the
child to refer to target parent by a new last name if remarried.
(this only applies to women), or tells the child they must
call the target parent by their first name. Dad become "Tom"
and Mom becomes "Mary".
Note: These techniques have been compiled and
published by the Parental Alienation Syndrome Foundation of
America (PASFA) and are based on a study of over 1,000 PAS
affected divorced parents over a six year period from 1995
to 2001. This list of alienating parent techniques has also
been endorsed by some of the most knowledgeable and experienced
PAS psychologists in the country.
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM OTHERS WHEN YOU HAVE THIS PAS PROBLEM
WITH YOUR CHILD OR CHILDREN.
Experience has taught me that when you have
a PAS problem with one or more of your children you will be
considered at best a deadly pariah out to destroy everything
you touch, and at worst a diseased leper who people should
avoid at all costs. This is because you have the gaul and
audacity to want stop your children’s abuse and have
them back with you, and because you are prevented by PAS from
doing so you get mad and angry at those who won’t listen
to you or help you. How dare you get so mad and angry over
this. The following are some of the things that you will be
called and that will happen to you.
1.You will be called hysterical and delusional
by almost everyone you come in contact with and made to feel
stupid and irrational and told you don’t know what you’re
2. You will have every bad thing you have ever
done in your life thrown up in your face, with absolutely
no mention of any of the good things you have done and accomplished
in life. You will also be subjected to what I call the “negative
spin” tactic by your ex-spouse. This is when you are
accused of having serious problems and character flaws that
are being embellished upon from some of your more innocent
past behaviors. For example, a man who comes home every night
after work and sits down and has a glass of wine or two to
relax, suddenly is being accused of being a “roaring
drunk and chronic alcoholic”....or a woman who is always
watching her weight is suddenly being accused of being an
emotionally ill “anorexic”..and the list goes
on and on.
3. You will be lied to and worked over by the
Court and all their Court appointed therapists, mediators
and guardian ad litems and told by them also that you are
crazy and don’t know what you are talking about, and
that PAS is not a scientifically recognized psychological
disorder by the Mental Health Profession or the Courts (which
is not true as per Florida Family Court case Kilgore v. Boyd,
13th Circuit Court, Hillsborough County, Fl., Case No, 94-7573,
dated November 22, 2000)
4. Your ex-spouse’s lawyer, if they have
one, will try and personally harass and intimidate you at
every turn, to show you how important, smart and powerful
5. You cannot trust anyone, especially your
own lawyer, your ex-spouse and their lawyer, your Judge and
above all any and all Court mediators, guardian ad litems
and/or Court appointed therapists and psychologists brought
into your case to know anything about PAS
6. Your child or children will many times write
and say bad things about you (almost always frivolous and
without any proof or merit) and claim they hate you and never
want to see you again.
7. When a psychologist or a guardian ad litem
or a Court mediator writes a report about you, then you must
always assume the person who wrote the report will know nothing
about PAS and that it will be a bad report about you as a
victimized PAS parent. Remember also that in 99 out of 100
cases you will not be allowed to either see this report before
it goes to the Judge, or be able to cross-examine the person
who wrote it and challenge what it says in Court.
8. Negative and demeaning words and phrases
you see or hear about you from your ex-spouse and their lawyer
will almost always show up again verbatim in written and/or
oral words from your child or children.
9. No one but you yourself will have any interest
whatsoever in your child or children’s best interests
in these PAS cases.
10. Delaying tactics will abound in your case,
sometimes for months and even years at a time, for it is a
cardinal rule with alienating parents in PAS cases that they
try and keep the alienated parent away from their child or
children for as long as humanly possible. This is to make
sure the alienation has time to root, grow and prosper without
any interference or challenge by the alienated parent.
11. If any false accusations are brought against
you, they will automatically be used by the Court to keep
you away from your child or children and you will have no
opportunity whatsoever to defend yourself against these charges.
This is the perfect scenario in these PAS cases for the alienating
12. Should you ever loudly protest what is
happening to you to a Judge or any of the Court appointed
mediators, psychologists or guardian ad litems in your case,
you will be branded as a hostile and angry person who should
not have any contact with your child or children because of
all your anger and hostility.
13. In addition should you ever loudly protest
what is happening to you to your Judge, then you will be told
by your Judge that you are out of line and if you keep it
up you will be held in contempt of Court and will automatically
lose custody and any further contact with your child or children,
and may be sent to jail for your protests and outrageous behavior.
14. Should your former spouse ever bring a
Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) motion against you in Court,
it will be granted immediately by your Judge, without any
hearing or due process rights being given to you at all to
properly defend yourself against whatever accusations are
being falsely made against you. Again the perfect scenario
in these PAS cases for the alienating parent.
15. Any criminal charges being falsely brought
against you without any proof or evidence being submitted
to the Court, such as criminal child or spousal abuse and/or
sexual molestation charges, will cause you to be found guilty
by your Civil Family Court, (which has no jurisdiction in
these types of criminal matters), until you prove yourself
innocent. A situation which may take years to accomplish and
therefore is used quite often in these PAS cases by the alienating
parent to keep you away from your children.
16. You will find that you will probably have
to spend upwards of $10,000, $20,000, $30,000 or more in legal
fees in these PAS cases, only to find that your lawyer has
done nothing, and when you run out of patience and money they
will tell you they will no longer represent you.
17. At this point you will have to begin to
represent yourself in “Pro Per”, at which time
your Judge and your ex-spouse’s lawyer will treat you
like a leper, idiot and a third class citizen, where they
will try to intimidate you and keep you in the dark about
all their dirty little legal secrets and improper methods
of Court procedure.
18. As a result of all these things happening
to you, you will most likely never see you child or children
again for many years, if ever, unless you read this book or
contact me at the Parental Alienation Syndrome Foundation
of America off of my web site at www.familycourts.com or my
new site www.pasfoundation.com. You will need a lot of help
and we will gladly give it to you.
WHY TARGET PARENTS ARE NO MATCH FOR AN ALIENATING PARENT OR
THE COURT. THE “BIG LIE” THEORY & THE THREE
The number one reason why, if you are a target
parent, you are no match for the alienating parent or the
court is because of what I call The “Big Lie”
theory. This is a theory that was first introduced to the
world by Adolph Hitler...and it goes like this. The bigger
the lie people tell, the more people they can get to believe
it. The big lies about you and your children coming out of
the mouth of an alienating parent, and usually their lawyer
as well, will be nothing short of staggering. You will encounter
these big lies everywhere you go, and as the theory goes,
because they are big lies, most of the people you have to
deal with about these lies will believe them without question
Now aside from this “Big Lie” problem
you will have with your PAS problem and your children, the
second most important reason why you will be no match for
an alienating parent or the court is this little redo I’ve
done of the classic nursery rhyme, The Three Blind Mice. Here
is my updated version:
Three blind mice
Three blind mice
See how they hurt
See how they suffer
They all ran into Family Court strife
Who cut out their hearts with a carving knife
Did you ever see such a sight in your life
Three blind mice
Oops, I must have gotten my nursery rhymes
Suffering, hurting, Family Court strife, cutting
out their hearts with a carving knife? What in the world are
you talking about? Well what I’m talking about is simply
what I hear day in and day out from parents from all over
the world who have had their PAS abused children stolen from
them by their ex-spouses and the Family Court. And how do
they feel about this? They feel as if their hearts have been
cut right out from their body, which makes them suffer so
much pain and hurt that it is literally indescribable. Of
course, the reason this has happened to them is because they
are just like blind mice who don’t see or know a thing
about what they’re getting into when they venture into
the dark and evil world of our illustrious Family Court system.
Let me show you what I mean.
When all these people call me with their PAS
tales of woe and heartache, I always ask them these few questions
and I always get the same answers. Here is what they tell
When I ask do you have a lawyer, they usually
When I then ask does your lawyer know anything about PAS,
they usually say, no they know nothing..or I don’t know
if they know anything..or I think maybe they know a little,
I’m not sure
When I ask then if they have been ordered by
the Court to see one of their psychologists, they usually
When I ask do you know if these psychologists
know anything about PAS, they usually say. No they know nothing..or
I don’t know..or I think maybe a little, I’m not
When I ask about the Judge or the GAL in their
case and whether they know anything about PAS, they usually
say, No or Gee I don’t know I’ve never asked,
or I assume so, or I think so.
Okay, I then tell all these people, what would
you like me to do? To which they respond. I need your help
to get my kids back and save them from what all these people
are doing to help my spouse turn them against me and steal
them from me.
How would you like me to do that, I ask? Well, they say, I
didn’t know anything about this PAS until I went to
your web site. I didn’t even know what was happening
to me and my kids or what these people were doing to them
even had a name for it.
Okay, I say, so now that you know about PAS
what do you think you should do about it? Whereupon they say,
I guess I need to show my lawyer and the Court and our psychologist
about this. Now I ask you does anyone see something wrong
Of course there is something wrong here...drastically
wrong. What is wrong is that these poor people and their PAS
abused kids have been led to the slaughter by their own lawyer,
a Family Court system and a court appointed psychologist or
GAL, all of whom knew absolutely nothing about what it was
that was affecting their kids to want to hate them and never
want to see them again. A disease of the mind so prevalent
in Family Court today that you would think someone in that
Court would know about it, wouldn’t you? Well guess
what? They don’t.
After this slaughter of their children has
occurred and these poor suffering parents are now without
their kids, and their kids are without them, the light suddenly
dawns on them that they have been had and that they had better
look around to see what it was that allowed them to be had.
This is when they hit the Internet and discover that they
are in a very big crowd of the same kind of loving and badly
victimized parents who have all been had like they have.
Now they search for help and wind up with me
on the other end of the phone telling them that they are just
like these three blind mice that went into the Family Court
system to have their kids abused and stolen from them and
their hearts cut out of them because they were so blind to
what was going on. How in the world can anyone combat this
kind of evil if they are blind and don’t have anyone
who knows anything about this evil to help them stop it? The
answer is they can’t.
So what is the answer for these people and
for all people who must navigate these evil and treacherous
waters of our wonderful Family Court system and all the deadly
sharks they attract who live and prey in those waters, plus
have to deal with an ex-spouse who wants to destroy their
relationship with their kids forever? The answer is simple.
Take off your blinders and rose colored glasses and look around
and make sure everyone you’re dealing with in this Court
knows just as much about PAS as you now do after doing your
research, talking to me, reading my book and looking at what
all the many prominent psychologists in this field have to
say about this terrible abuse of your children. If you don’t
I can assure you that your heart will be cut right out of
you and you will never see your children again.
You should know that at the present time you
can view well over 2,000 web sites that are devoted entirely
to this subject where you can get the kind of information
you need. Once you do this, and you read this book, then you
will at least be prepared to go into the court with your eyes
wide open and not as hapless little blind mice who can’t
see anything. To further help you along with this I have prepared
a list of other Do’s and Don’ts you need to take
WHAT YOU DO AND DON’T DO WHEN AS A LOVING PARENT YOU
ARE CONFRONTED WITH A SEVERE CASE OF PAS IN YOUR CHILD OR
DO...take off the gloves and demand prompt and swift action
that the Court immediately STOP the abuse of your child. Remind
the Court in the strongest terms possible that your child’s
life, mental health and their continued on going relationship
with you is at stake...AND that if they don’t intervene
immediately the chances of ever saving your child and your
relationship together will be ZERO.
DO...start to immediately educate yourself, your lawyer, your
Judge, your psychologist and your child, if possible, about
PAS. This is one of the most widespread forms of emotional
child abuse there is arising out of our Family Court system
today and there are at least 1,000 Internet web sites for
you to obtain information about PAS. So start looking.
DO...fully prepare yourself for your Court presentation about
PAS. To do this you should keep good records on your case
and print out and make several copies of all the information
on PAS you find on these web sites and put them in at least
four (4) separate booklets and entitle them.. "URGENT
& IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR THE COURT ON PAS....What you
need to know about the abuse of my child to save him/her and
myself from a lifetime of pain and suffering". Before
you go into Court you should give one of these booklets and
any records you have about your case to your lawyer and your
psychologist while keeping one for yourself and the Court
that you will present to them.
If you have a flair for the dramatic to make your point you
can also add a reprint of my web site home page with my daughter’s
picture and number of days I have not seen her because of
PAS and my Court’s refusal to intervene to stop her
PAS abuse. At the top of the page you should also write in
big letters ...."WITH ALL DUE RESPECT TO THIS COURT...I
DO NOT INTEND TO ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN TO ME AND MY CHILD/CHILDREN
UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES"
DO...tell the Court if they don’t act immediately to
stop your child’s abuse, you will take your PAS case
and all the proof and evidence you provided the Court on your
child's PAS condition and go to the local newspapers and T.V.
stations...AND... you will post your case and the Judge’s
name on all the PAS Internet web sites for the whole world
to see how derelict the Court was in not carrying out its
responsibility to protect your child from your former spouse’s
severe emotional abuse and the permanent destruction of you
and your child’s relationship together.
DO...trust your own instincts as a parent to do what is in
the best interests of your child when confronted with this
PAS problem...AND...if the Court won’t protect your
child’s interests, then you will have to protect his/her
interests yourself. This you will do by public exposure of
your case to the media until the Court does protect your child’s
interests as the law requires them to do. It may take a long
time but you must never ever give up the fight.
DO...continue to reach out to your PAS affected child no matter
how many times they tell you how much they hate you and never
want to see you again. While they may say these things to
you, the fact is they really don't hate you and actually yearn
desperately to see you again, but those feelings are not allowed
any expression by the abusing parent.
DO...keep your faith in God and yourself at all times and
always take the high road to fight and solve this problem.
DON’T... count on ANYONE to know anything about PAS
or to try and help you save your child and your relationship
together. Almost all lawyers, Judges, psychologists and Court
mediators who are involved in your case KNOW ABSOLUTELY NOTHING
ABOUT PAS...AND...even if they did would probably not give
you the time or be able to fully understand your case and
how important it is for Court intervention to stop your child’s
PAS abuse. In most PAS cases the sad fact is none of these
people really care about helping you and your child anyway.
DON’T...delude yourself into thinking that your local
Family Court, your Judge, your lawyer, your psychologist or
that anyone else but you really wants to look out for and
protect the best interests of your child. They all say this
is what they want to do, but the truth is they don’t
in most cases.
DON’T...trust ANYONE to educate themselves on PAS. This
is particularly true about your former spouse, Family Court
Judges and Court appointed psychologists. You must do all
this research and education about PAS yourself to pass on
to all the people involved in your case.
DON’T...allow the Court or let anyone intimidate you.
You will be challenged at every turn and told you don’t
know what you are talking about when you mention PAS. Many
will also tell you that PAS is nothing more than a figment
of your imagination and that it has never been proven and
doesn’t even exist in the Psychiatric Association’s
Bible of mental and psychiatric disorders known as DSM-IV.
Some of these people will even further tell you that this
was only a "pipe dream" invented by Dr. Richard
Gardner to sell his books. DON’T believe a word these
people tell you and never give in to their intimidating tactics
to discredit you, PAS or Dr. Gardner.
DON’T...allow the Court or anyone else to delay or prolong
your Court hearing on this matter. The longer this PAS abuse
goes on with your child, the more difficult it will be for
you to do anything to stop it...AND...If it goes on for too
long without Court intervention (ie. 6 months or more) then
your chances of ever re-establishing a normal healthy relationship
with your child will start to approach ZERO. With PAS wasted
time is your worst enemy.
DON’T...engage in any kind of retaliatory brainwashing
PAS abuse of your child yourself. The temptation is always
there to "fight fire with fire" when you are being
attacked and maligned by your former spouse, BUT DON’T
EVER DO IT. REMEMBER what I said before. Always take the High
Moral ground for your child and if you want to get angry and
verbally attack someone, get angry and attack the people who
are doing this to your child. Never get angry at your child
for how he/she is behaving or in any other way do anything
to further hurt your child. You must be able to walk a fine
line always trusting in yourself and your God to see and fight
this thing through for the ultimate best interests of your
child and yourself.
DON'T...ever GIVE UP no matter how many well meaning and/or
not so well meaning people tell you to do so. You will constantly
hear people tell you that you should merely give up the fight
to save your child from PAS and wait until they grow up and
find out for themselves how badly they were abused by your
former spouse and the Court. This would be the same as letting
your child drown until they learned how to swim themselves.
You have a solemn duty to protect your children and thus you
cannot ever shirk from that duty no matter what anyone says
to the contrary.
Jeremiah 31:15-17...Rachel is weeping for her children; She
cannot be comforted for her children, because they are not
But the Lord says, “Rachel keep your voice from weeping
and your eyes from tears, for your work shall be rewarded...and
your children shall come back from the land of the enemy.
THE ART OF BRAINWASHING
HOW PAS IS DONE
DEFINITION OF BRAINWASHING
The formulation by design of a set of directions,
messages or themes based on a specific belief system directed
by one parent or other family member (hereinafter referred
to as the alienators) toward the other parent (hereinafter
referred to as the target parent) in order to gain some end
or goal. These sets of direction, themes or messages are then
used by the alienators to negatively influence the thoughts,
perceptions, opinions, ideas, values, beliefs, attitudes,
feelings, acts and/or behavior of the children toward the
It is the basic intent of the alienators to
control the thoughts and behavior of their children or someone
else’s children to operate against the target parent.
To accomplish this the alienators puts forth repetitive sets
of messages, themes and/or directions designed to damage the
image of the target parent in terms of their moral, physical,
intellectual, social, emotional and educational qualities
as well as their parenting abilities. Essential in this process
is for the alienators to also completely control the flow
of information to the child by keeping them totally isolated
from the target parent and preventing any competing ideas
or information from reaching the child.
1. COMPUTER STYLE PROGRAMMING OF DATA:
An alienator will only allow their own set
of directions to assist their child in organizing and interpreting
the “data” they are perceiving (as is done in
computer programming). For example:
........A child observing a parent who is late
for a visitation pickup will receive a set of “Directions”
or “instructions” from the alienators that the
tardy parent “doesn’t care about the child or
they would have been on time for the pickup”. This “programmed
instruction message” is nothing more than a purposely
implanted code by the alienators for the child to use to interpret
the target parent’s lateness as being a clear indication
of that parent’s lack of love for the child. No other
reason for the lateness such as a traffic jam or accident,
or an old habit of lateness or some other reason or circumstance
is allowed in the alienators directional code to the child.
The directions to the child by the alienators to assist the
child to interpret this data simply does not include any of
these alternate possibilities..........
2. ISOLATION OF THE CHILD FROM THE TARGET PARENT:
THE “STRIPPING PROCESS”
Physical isolation of the child......The first
part of a “stripping process” where an alienator
will seek to physically isolate a child from the target parent
and/or any other family members of the child for long periods
of time to completely shut off any other source of competing
or contradictory information and/or beliefs being allowed
to flow to the child.
Social, emotional and/or psychological isolation
of the child .......The second part of the “stripping
process” where the alienators will seek to remove all
of the emotional bonds of love and affection that previously
existed between the child and the target parent for the purpose
completely controlling the thinking and behavior of the child
themselves. This is usually done at the outset to make it
that much easier for the alienators to succeed in their ultimate
goal of complete physical isolation of the child from the
target parent and/or other family members of the child.
3. REPETITION OF THE MESSAGE:
This is one of the most basic of all alienating
and parental brainwashing/programming techniques. Repeating
the same thoughts and messages over and over without any meaningful
challenge or debate to those messages and thoughts creates
a mind set in the child conducive to the goals and objectives
of the alienators to destroy the image of the target parent.
4. THE “US” VS. “THEM” MENTALITY:
It is absolutely essential for the alienators
to define for the child the group they are in. (ie: “US”,
the alienators and the child...and “THEM”, the
target parent and/or that parent’s extended family.
Once the groups have been defined by the alienators then they
will further define the target
parent group, THEM, as ....”unacceptable”, contrary
to OUR way of thinking”, “immoral”, “a
bad influence”, “poor parents, grandparents, etc.”
Littered throughout the language of both the alienated child
and the alienators you will often find constant references
to the words “WE” and “US” and never
the words “I” or “ME”. A typical response
from an alienated child will always be
something like....”My father/mother doesn’t understand
“US”; or “my mother/father abandoned “US”;
or “WE” don’t like it when you are late.
The alienated child can never seem to uncouple themselves
from the alienating parent or other alienating family members.
5 SOME OTHER BASIC ALIENATING/BRAINWASHING TECHNIQUES:
* THE "DENIAL OF EXISTENCE" SYNDROME
* THE "I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE
TARGET PARENT" SYNDROME
* THE "MORALITY PLAY" SYNDROME
* THE “I’M THE ONLY ONE WHO LOVES YOU” SYNDROME
* THE “YOU’RE NOT FIT TO CARE FOR THE CHILD”
* THE "REWRITING OF HISTORY AND REALITY" SYNDROME
* THE "I’M ALL GOOD, THE TARGET PARENT IS ALL BAD"
* THE "THREAT OF WITHDRAWAL OF LOVE" SYNDROME
BEWARE OF YOUR FAMILY COURT SYSTEM IN PAS CHILD
JUDGES OF THE FAMILY COURT
A LOOK AT WHAT A GOOD JUDGE SHOULD BE LIKE....
A FABLE.... JUST WHO SHOULD BE OUR MINISTERS OF TRUST?...
Once upon a time there was a wise and good King who wanted
to find a loyal subject to fill what he called his highest
position of “Minister of Trust”, or as we call
them today a “Judge”.
To accomplish this the King called into secret session a meeting
of his most trusted advisors to discuss this matter. After
a long a spirited debate and discussion of what they should
do to find such a trusted person for this important position,
they were suddenly interrupted by the Court Jester.
The King suppressed the iritation he always felt when the
Court Jester interrupted like this. Then he began to laugh
in spite of himself, as the Court Jester started to mimic
the sober members of the group beginning first with the Minister
“Laws are always right, but are they true”, the
Jester said to the Law Minister, “You Sir would make
this one only for you”.
The Law Minister clenched his teeth in anger. The Jester then
hopped in front of the Minister of Human Welfare.
“Be smooth and slick and figure it out...trust takes
more than clever clout”, he said to the Human Welfare
Minister. The Minister’s body stiffened.
Then the Court Jester gyrated around, jumped up and down and
landed right in front of the King, looking him straight in
“You, my King”, the Jester said, “cannot
sift through a screen of mistrust”.
And with that, in a flash he was gone. Everyone in the room
was silent for a full two minutes. Finally the King spoke.
“We owe the Court Jester a great debt”, said the
King. “We have been discussing ways to ensure that our
Minister of Trust can himself be trusted.
We want that person to have the right answers, to know the
law and to understand about life and human nature”.
“While these things are important qualifications for
the person we seek, I believe we have omitted the most important
qualification of all.....the proven quality of high character.
In the end we do not trust knowledge or the law unless it
is true and and is administered by a person of high moral
So, the King said to his advisors, “let us change our
approach to this problem”. “Instead of looking
for someone with great knowledge who thinks they have all
the right answers, let us find a person with high moral character
who has the courage to ask all the right questions of their
moral conscience in every situation of which they may be confronted.
In finding such a person, we will then know that they will
only make decisions after carefully reflecting on the consequences
of their decisions on people’s lives”.
And so it came to pass in this vast Kingdom of this wise King
that such a Minister of trust was found and finally chosen....Not
because of his knowledge of life or the law, although he had
that in abundance, but because of his high moral code of conduct
and behavior and his steadfast courage to ask important questions
of conscience and for his ability to reflect on the consequences
of his decisions on people’s lives.
A LOOK AT SOME GOOD JUDGES AND MINISTERS OF TRUST
A. JUDGE VERNON NAKAHARA
WHAT THIS WELL RESPECTED CALIFORNIA FAMILY COURT
JUDGE SAYS ABOUT PAS AND THE ROLE OF THE COURT IN PAS CASES:
Judge Vernon Nakahara in Alameda County, California, served
on the family law bench for a year after many years as a criminal
court judge (Judge Nakahara provided the material in this
section by personal communication to author Deirdre Rand in
1997). When the assignment expired, he elected to continue
as the judge for a particularly severe case of PAS. It had
taken him several months to grasp the complexities of the
case and he was concerned that the case would be set back
if a new judge had to go through the process all over again.
Judge Nakahara learned about Gardner’s
concept of PAS from the testimony of the court appointed reunification
therapist for the child in a severe PAS case. The idea made
sense to him and helped to explain some of the divorce family
problems he was seeing. Quote from Judge in Shutz v Shutz:
"The Court has no doubt that the cause of the blind,
brainwashed, bigoted, belligerence of the children toward
the father grew from the soil nurtured, watered and tilled
by the mother. The Court is thoroughly convinced that the
mother breached every duty she owed as the custodial parent
to the noncustodial parent of instilling love, respect and
feeling in the children for their father. Worse, she slowly
dripped poison into the minds of these children, maybe even
beyond the power of this Court to find the antidote."
Upon reading the above quote from the judge
in Shutz v. Shutz, Judge Nakahara indicated that the description
was consistent with his experience. He observed that the alienating
parent in more severe PAS usually had significant psychological
problems. False allegations of abuse were also more likely
to be part of the equation. According to Judge Nakahara, varying
degrees of PAS were evident in most of the family law cases
he heard, similar to what Gardner and Johnston report. He
cautions family law judges to be aware that in addition to
the child, professionals upon whom the court relies may also
be "brainwashed" by the alienating parent. This
includes attorneys, family court services and private counselors.
The opinions of various professionals who become involved
should not be accepted as authoritative simply because individuals
designated as professionals are making them. The opinions
of professionals need to be tested and critically evaluated
by the court.
Attorneys and parents also need to be held
accountable. During his term on the family law bench, Judge
Nakahara did not allow the common family law practice of the
court relying on attorneys’ representations as to what
their client/parents and other witnesses would testify to
if called. Similar to criminal cases, he insisted on live
testimony so he could test the credibility of witnesses himself.
At first, family lawyers in his courtroom were surprised that
he expected them to show substantial proof in support of their
claims and of the client’s position. They were also
surprised by his readiness to impose sanctions. Attorneys
quickly learned that they needed to be more careful about
their representations in Judge Nakahara’s courtroom
and that they would be required to back up their claims.
According to Judge Nakahara, holding parents
accountable builds success. Relieving a parent of sanctions
builds failure and increases the likelihood that unacceptable
behavior will recur. Failure to impose sanctions when sanctions
are called for reinforces parents’ disregard for court
orders and their belief that they can do as they please. When
Judge Nakahara threatened parents with sanctions, he gave
them choices: 1) take the child for the sessions; 2) spend
a day in jail for each session missed; or 3) if mother continued
her refusal to cooperate, custody would be switched to the
father. At this point the mother decided to start bringing
the child for therapy. In another case, a parent with a pattern
of visitation interference was frequently tardy for visitation
exchanges. Judge Nakahara required the late parent to pay
$ 1 for each minute past the appointed time. He also applied
sanctions for such issues as refusal to produce income and
expense information, failure to participate in court ordered
alcohol treatment and failure to attend the requisite number
of anger management classes.
When lesser sanctions failed to produce results,
Judge Nakahara did not hesitate to order that a non-compliant
parent be taken into custody. The first time he did this on
the family bench, it created a "shock wave" throughout
the county legal system - it had been five years since a family
law judge in the county had imposed this level of sanction.
Experience taught Judge Nakahara that five days in jail is
the optimum period of time to make a significant impression
on a parent who persists in violating and resisting court
orders. This is what he calls “enforcing the law”.
B. JUDGE MICHAEL C. CURTIS
Los Angeles Superior Court
WHAT I SEEK TO ACCOMPLISH IN MY COURTROOM
Divorce is a process -- a growing and learning process. When
people come to court in the early stages of their divorce
they have no knowledge or training about how to go through
it unless they have been divorced before. I view my role as
judge as not being merely a decider of disputes but as being
an educator as well. If I can help divorcing couples get through
the divorce process, both legally and emotionally, while avoiding
the traps and pitfalls in which I have seen others before
them become ensnared, then I consider myself to be fulfilling
On the mornings when new divorce cases come to court I spend
about a half hour before cases are called talking to the audience
about the process, describing how decisions are made, telling
them about Conciliation Court and the importance of going
to the mediator with the attitude that they will be able to
agree on arrangements for their children rather than brushing
off the process and running back to the courtroom to knock
heads with each other. I show them examples of other people's
case files ranging from thin, inexpensively settled cases
to massive, multi-volume contested cases generating attorney
fees exceeding $100,000. I ask them to think about whether
they would rather spend their money creating that kind of
case file or on sending their children to college.
I recognize that they are often bitter, but always in emotional
turmoil, worried, nervous, and scared -- both about the court
process and about their vision of the future for both themselves
and their children. Therefore, I make available to them a
reading list I have created containing reviews of a wide variety
of books on many topics of interest to divorcing couples.
I encourage them to read some cf the books in order to use
the divorce process to grow as a person. Among the books I
recommend to them are the magnificent Vicky Lansky's Divorce
Book for Parents (Signet (l989]) and to help their children
with their fears and worries Dinosaurs Divorce (Little, Brown
(l986) and Richard Gardner's Boys and Girls Book about Divorce
(Bantam (l97O]). A substantial portion of the reading list
presents books which are designed to get people to think about
One very valuable book suggests that we solve life's problems
by picking up a mirror with which to examine deeply our own
behavior and values and to make positive changes in the only
person we can change (ourselves) instead of picking up a magnifying
glass with which to 5elf-righteously examine the other person's
behavior in order to blame and accuse and to have a "bad
object" upon whom to project all of the negative things
within our own personalities which we refuse to recognize
and come to terms with.
Among the things which I have learned in my years on the bench
is that not only is the parties' emotional and legal divorce
a process, but so is the creation of appropriate custodial
arrangements for the children. It is rarely productive to
try to make permanent custody decisions early in the divorce
process when the parents and children are at the height of
their emotional imbalance -- which is what the proponents
of this bill would have us do by rote formula. Custody determinations
seem to be best worked out over time as the parents and children
settle down and regain stability.
Successful post-separation parenting is an education process
as well. We attempt to educate people that the family exists
after separation and that it is being transformed into a new
shape which still has the same people in different locations
and with the possibility of adding more members. That education
process into successful post-separation parenting is assisted
tremendously by the existing body of California statutory
and decisional law which is child-centered and emphasizes
frequent and continuing contact with both parents, free access
to information about the child, and shared parenting responsibilities.
The proposed bills threaten to seriously disrupt that established
body of law -- unnecessarily in my view -- and to make it
far more difficult to obtain cooperative parenting from people
in the future. WHAT WE HAVE DONE IN THE EAST DISTRICT
I have presided over a domestic relations department in the
East District of the Los Angeles County Superior Court (Pomona)
since 1986. The East District consistently has the highest
or second highest number of domestic filings of all the county
branch courts (5,206 for fiscal year 1991-1992, more than
many California counties), but our dispositions always meet
our filings. We have no backlog. The reason we have no backlog
is not because the public is shuttled through the system like
cattle, but because we have succeeded, through the educational
process I spoke of above, in changing people's expectations
and motivations from litigation to settlement. I very clearly
set forth for the public my expectation that the majority
of them will settle their cases, for their benefit not mine,
and the majority of them live up to that expectation.
As a result our local family bar has been transformed from
fighting tooth and nail with each other to one with great
collegiality and cooperation. They are comfortable with representing
their clients' best interests but viewing those best interests
to be served better by joint resolution than by exposing their
clients to the hazards, pain and expense of litigation. Members
of the Family Law bar from a wide geographical area surrounding
our courthouse (including practitioners from three counties)
take turns as volunteer mediators at our mandatory settlement
conferences which frees up the commissioners' time to hear
cases which must be litigated.
A smaller but very dedicated group of local Family Law attorneys
serve on a panel from which the court appoints attorneys to
represent children under Civil Code section 4606 in contested
custody matters. Their services are invaluable in assisting
the court to fulfill its duty to protect the best interests
of the children who come before it. They seek the advice of,
and if necessary the appointment of, psychologists to assist
them in understanding the children's special needs in complex
The attorneys are usually able to help the parents come to
an understanding of their children's needs and the best ways
of meeting those needs through cooperative post-separation
parenting, heading off many an incipient custody battle with
just a brief court appearance or two. They thereby save the
parents thousands of dollars of attorney fees and costs and
save both the parents and the children the emotional pain
and turmoil of a prolonged custody battle. If, however, the
parents insist on going forward with a custody battle, the
children are represented in it and have someone to shield
them from the fallout of the conflict. These attorneys are
sometimes paid at their regular rate when the parents can
afford it, but quite frequently they serve at reduced rates
and sometimes serve pro bono.
The Family Law bench, bar, and clerk's office are currently
cooperating with two local battered women's shelters and other
community organizations to set up a domestic violence clinic
within the courthouse where victims can go for immediate assistance
in obtaining restraining orders.
The atmosphere which we have succeeded in creating in our
courthouse is threatened to be upset, as it will in all California,
if these bills are passed.
THE HIGH COST OF NOT HAVING A GOOD JUDGE IN YOUR PAS CASE
Every day I receive dozens of letters and e-mails
from parents who tell me what this PAS problem with their
kids has cost them. Here then are some of their typical comments
that I will now pass onto you. They say:
1.It will cost you tens of thousands, and in
many cases hundreds of thousands, of dollars in legal and
professional fees for greedy lawyers and quack psychologists
to completely ruin your life.
2. It will cost you your physical and mental health and emotional
well being and will bring many of you to the brink of despair,
and for some even suicide or attempts at suicide.
3. It will cost you the love, affection and
companionship of your children, very possibly forever.
4. It will cost many of you your job and reputation
within your community.
5. It will cost you your new marriage or significant
6. It will cost your children to lose their
mother/father/grandparents/brothers and sisters/aunts and
uncles/nieces and nephews/step mothers and step fathers, and
in most cases will cause them to also lose their own self
pride, dignity and personal self esteem which sometimes leads
them into drug and alcohol abuse and other anti-social and
destructive behaviors, including suicide.
7. It will cost you many years of excruciating
pain and suffering and sleepless nights.
8. It will cost you to lose everything you
have including your home/your car/your life savings/your retirement
plan/and your kid’s college education money.
9. It will cost many of you to lose your faith
and trust in yourself/your God/your country/the law/the legal
and Judicial system/the courts/and the medical and mental
10. And finally it will cost many of you to
lose your pride/your dignity/and your ability to function
as a normal, healthy and productive human being.
In other words what many of these people are
saying to me is that they would rather be dead than have to
live with and suffer from all the horrors this system has
made them and their children endure for so long. That is the
legacy of PAS and that is the legacy of our Family Court system
that allows this kind of abuse to go on unchecked, and in
many cases they actually support and encourage it to continue
on unabated. This, of course, wouldn’t happen if every
Judge in America was like Judge Nakahara or Judge Curtis.
HOW TO GET A GOOD JUDGE AND WEED OUT BAD JUDGES....
YOUR OWN FAMILY COURT JUDGE QUESTIONNAIRE
To help you improve your odds that you just
might find a Judge like Judge Curtis or Nakahara to decide
your PAS case, I have prepared this Family Court Questionnaire
for you to use. Because you have a right to recuse (remove)
a Judge who has been assigned to your case you should ask
the assigned Judge to read and complete this questionnaire
before you let he or she hear any evidence in your case. It
is important you do this BEFORE you appear before this Judge,
or else you may lose this right to have them removed from
your case. Along with the questionnaire you should present
this Judge with your written request to complete this questionnaire
with a letter similar to the following: I took most of this
questionnaire from the previous information I just gave you
from Judge Curtis.
In as much as the selection and appointment
of a Judge to hear and preside over my family law case is
one of the most important decisions of my life that could
affect myself, my family and my children for many years to
come, I would appreciate it if you would kindly read over
and respond to this Family Court Judge questionnaire to assist
me in making this important decision. Thank you.
*****FAMILY COURT JUDGE QUESTIONNAIRE*****
1. Do you believe that Divorce when it unfortunately
comes about is a process -- a growing and learning process
that needs the highest degree of knowledge and skill to handle
and navigate properly, which most people going through a divorce
for the first time don’t have? Yes___No___
2. If so then do you believe then that I must
rely on you to posses the skills, training and experience
plus the proper Judicial temperament to help people like myself
with this growing and learning process? Yes___No___
3. If so will you be willing to provide me with
a full written summary of your credentials, education, background
and experience in this regard to help people like myself go
through this process? Yes___No___
4. Do you believe that when people like myself
come to your court in the early stages of our divorce we need
a lot of education to help us through this process, and that
you are committed to giving us this education. Yes___No___
5. Do you view your role then as a Judge as
not being merely an arbitrator and decider of disputes but
that of being an educator to all your litigants as well? Yes___No___
6. If so do you believe that you can help divorcing
couples get through the divorce process, both legally, financially
and emotionally, while avoiding all the traps and pitfalls
in which you have seen others before them become entrapped
and ensnared? Yes___No___
7. On the mornings of new divorce cases coming
before you in your court do you try and spend sufficient time
before cases are called talking to the audience about the
process, describing how decisions are made, telling them about
Conciliation Court and the importance of going to the mediator
and divorcing parenting educational classes with the attitude
that they will be able to agree on arrangements for their
children rather than brushing off the process and running
back to the courtroom to knock heads with each other? Yes___No___
8. On the mornings when these new divorce cases
come to your court do you also show the audience examples
of other people's case files ranging from thin, inexpensively
settled cases to massive, multi-volume contested cases generating
attorney fees exceeding $100,000? Yes___No___
9. If so do you then ask these people to think
about whether they would rather spend their money creating
that kind of expensive case file or on sending their children
to college? Yes___No___
10. Do you recognize that people seeking a divorce
are often angry, bitter, and usually in emotional turmoil,
worried, nervous, and scared -- both about the court process
and about their vision of the future for both themselves and
their children? Yes___No___
11. If you do recognize this will you therefore
make available to them a reading list you have created containing
reviews of a wide variety of books on many topics of interest
to divorcing couples and will you then encourage them to read
these books in order to use the divorce process to grow as
a person and make sure their children are not negatively affected
or harmed during this process? Yes___No___
12. If you do have such a list, what books do
you recommend? Please give me your list if you do this and
are any of these following books among the books you recommend?
Vicky Lansky's Divorce Book for Parents (Signet (1989); and
for children of divorce, Dinosaurs Divorce (Little, Brown
(1986) and for PAS information Dr. Richard Gardner's Boys
and Girls Book about Divorce (Bantam (1970) and A guide to
Parental Alienation Syndrome (1995). Yes___No___
13. Do you think it is very important for people
to read books like these and others which are designed to
get people to think about their lives and their children’s
lives, both during and after divorce? Yes___No___
14. Do you think it is extremely harmful, unfair,
counter productive and damaging to children and their parents
for you to make highly provocative and/or hasty custody and/or
visitation contact decisions early on in the divorce process,
before you have any solid proven facts, evidence or unimpeachable
information about these cases at your disposal, and where
the parents and children involved are at the height of their
emotional anger, turmoil and imbalance? Yes___No___
15. On the matter of post-separation/divorce
parenting do you believe that this is also an educational
process and that you must do everything in your power to educate
parents and children about this new phase of their lives,
and that what you do in your court during the divorce process
will have a profound impact on the success of post separation/divorce
16. In line with this are you convinced that
the custody laws of your state are in fact child centered
and in conformity with the concept of shared parenting; frequent
and unimpeded continuing contact of children with both parents
after divorce; free access to information about the child
at all times after divorce; and equally shared parenting duties
and responsibilities for children.... all of which you agree
with and support 100%? Yes___No___
17. Do you believe that your court should not have any case
backlogs which can cause long delays and frequent continuances,
and do you agree that people in your court should never be
shuttled through the system like cattle as many are today
due to the massive overcrowding of the Family Court system?
18. Do you believe that you have a solemn duty
and responsibility to change people’s expectations and
motivations from litigation to settlement in cases that come
before you for the best interests of themselves and their
19. If so do you believe you have this same
solemn duty and responsibility to encourage your local family
bar members not to fight tooth and nail with each other, but
rather to adopt a spirit of collegiality and cooperation to
have these cases settled out of court? Yes___No___
20. If so do you let the members of the local
family bar know in no uncertain terms that while they need
to be comfortable with representing their clients' best interests,
they should try and view those best interests as being much
better served by joint resolution of issues rather than by
exposing their clients to the hazards, pain and expense of
21. Along these same lines do you encourage
members of the local family bar to take turns as volunteer
mediators at your mandatory settlement conferences? Yes___No___
22. On the matter of court appointed psychologists,
therapists and GAL’s have you personally talked with
each one of these people about what you expect of them, and
by so doing have you completely satisfied yourself as to their
full competence, knowledge, training and experience to look
into and evaluate these difficult and complex cases for you?
23. As Parental Alienation (PA) and Parental
Alienation Syndrome (PAS) are becoming more and and more of
a problem today in the Family Court, have you made sure that
both you and all of these mental health professionals and
guardians you appoint are up to speed on all the latest information
about these particular matters that can so severely affect
children in such a harmful and negative way? Yes___No___
24. If so do you believe that local family bar
attorneys can help with this problem if they too are brought
up to speed on this subject to help the parents they represent
come to an full understanding of this problem and how harmful
it can be to their children if they engage in this type of
parental alienation behavior with them? Yes___No___
25. On the matter of complexity and cost to
parents in the divorce process do you believe that the present
conduct of Family Law litigation and settlement is much too
complicated and has become overly time-consuming and expensive
-- too expensive now for the middle class to hire counsel
without exhausting a major part of their community estate,
and yet too complex for a lay person to proceed without a
26. If so do you believe that you should look
at yourself as a not just a referee whose duty it is to see
that all the rules are enforced and followed and the flames
of contentious divorce and child custody disputes are not
being continually fanned by willful violations of those rules,
but as an educator and mediator to try and heal the wounds
and to get parents to open-heartedly and unselfishly view
each other with some respect and forgiveness -- to accept
each other's flaws and failings and to work to make themselves
whole and functioning individuals creating a better life for
themselves and their children? Yes___No___
27. If so and along these same lines do you
believe that in order for this collegiality and cooperation
between divorcing parents to occur it is necessary for you
to aggressively enforce the rules of the court, including
all of your own court orders, and severely punish any violators
of these rules in a manner that will deter them from any further
violations ? Yes___No___
28. If so do you make sure everyone knows this
when they come before you in court for the first time? Yes___No___
29. On the matter of frequent and unimpeded
continuing contact of both parents with their children after
divorce do you consider this kind of emotional contact support
of children to be just as important to their welfare as the
financial support they receive? Yes___No___
30. If you do, will you step in when it becomes
necessary to aggressively enforce a parent’s child visitation
order with the same kind of enthusiasm and severe punishment
that you would use to enforce your child financial support
31. On the matter of these financial child support
orders do you believe that because of the obvious and inherent
abuses that are frequently taken advantage of in these orders
by unscrupulous parents, they should have nothing to do at
all with calculating the amount of financial support for a
child commensurate with the amount of time a parent gets to
spend with their children? Yes___No___
32. If you believe this do you also believe
that the amount of financial support you order for a child
should be reasonable and in most cases should not exceed 30%
of the obligor’s net after tax take home pay each month?
33. Once again for complete clarity on this
most important issue of shared parenting do you believe in
making sure that the best interests of children are always
upper most in your mind above all else, and that the most
important of those interests are that all children of divorce
have a fundamental right to the love, affection and frequent
contact, companionship and financial support of both parents
after divorce in exactly the same way they enjoyed such rights
before their parents divorced? Yes___No___
34. On another important matter do you believe
that any and all accusations of physical child abuse or sexual
abuse are issues for the Criminal Courts to address, investigate
and rule on and not the Civil Family Courts? Yes___No___
35. If so will you immediately then remand any
of these kinds of alleged criminal abuse cases to the District
Attorney’s office and the proper Criminal Courts to
deal with instead dealing with them yourself? Yes___No___
36. And finally do you believe as a Judge that
every citizen of the United States has an absolute right to
expect that ALL of their Constitutional rights and liberties
be extended to them in your court, including, but not limited
to, their right to have a fair and speedy hearing or trial
of their case; the right to full due process under the law
to face their accusers and to cross examine any testimony
and/or witnesses against them; and the right to the full equal
protection under the law not to be discriminated against in
matter’s of child custody awards or any other matter’s
that may come before your court in their case? Yes___No___
WHAT IF YOU HAVE A BAD JUDGE WHO WON’T COMPLETE THIS
QUESTIONNAIRE...WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOUR CHILD THEN?
BAD JUDGES AND THEIR COURT’S BETRAYAL
OF OUR CHILDREN
Tragically in our Family Court system today we have many serious
problems that the people and their elected Government representatives
refuse to address or fix. The sad fact is that the incompetence
and insensivity of most of these Courts and Judges and the
unrealistic demands placed on them has far exceeded their
ability to serve the people and the best interests of children
of divorcing parents. Consequently we as a society have now
arrived at a state of total mistrust and lack of respect for
our present Family Court system and most of its Judges and
self serving legal practitioners. They don’t even come
close to providing the public with any faith and confidence
in them to do their jobs properly.
As bad as this situation is, in the general, routine operation
of the Court it is absolutely deadly when it comes to these
Courts dealing with severe PAS cases. When this happens it
is like a war without any kind of a Geneva Convention rules
where certain heinous acts of war are strictly outlawed and
prohibited. Under Geneva Convention rules of warfare, for
example, there are rules that say prisoners of war are supposed
to be treated humanely. The wanton killing, torture and rape
of innocent civilians constitute war crimes against humanity
and people who violate the rules of the Geneva Convention
can be prosecuted, tried and executed if it can been proven
that they engaged in any of these types of human atrocities.
In the Family Court, however, there are no such rules against
such atrocities. In the Family Court if a person abuses their
own child to get what they want they are not punished for
their crimes. Instead they are rewarded for their crimes.
In Family Court if a person lies and cheats and commits a
felony for perjury to get what they want they are not punished
for their crimes or behavior. They are, instead, rewarded.
In Family Court, if a person illegally steals and kidnaps
a child away from a parent for the rest of their life to get
what they want, and in the process unmercifully abuses and
emotionally tortures them, they are not punished for their
crimes. They are rewarded for their crimes because the Court
thinks this is perfectly acceptable behavior for them to engage
In other words in the Family Court it is all the criminals
who win and the victims who lose. In the end what is worst
of all it is really all the innocent PAS victimized children
of divorce who become the biggest losers of all.
On the well know TV show 20/20 a few years back, a well known
and highly respected Judge of the Family Court from Cobb County
Georgia, by the name of Watson White, said this about these
Family Courts today and what is happening to all the children
who are placed in Harms way by these Courts. “What is
happening to children of divorce today in our Family Courts
is worse than drugs, alcohol or even child molestation. These
children are being used and abused as pawns and weapons in
Family Courts all across America, and I for one am appalled
What Judge White was talking about can be seen clearly in
the following ways in which our Family Courts of today are
perceived by divorcing parents and their children because
they have no rules of civilized conduct and behavior toward
children. In a survey of thousands of divorcing parents that
I have conducted over the past nine years the results show
clearly that in these Courts the following activities are
the rule rather than the exception. For example, I found that
in most Family Courts today these bad Judges routinely perform
their duties in the following manner where they purposely
go out of their way to...
* Abuse most of their litigants and their children
on a regular and consistent basis, and despite their loud
protestations to the contrary, care very little for the best
interests of your children....and this is especially true
in severe PAS cases.
* Engage in terribly unfair and blatantly discriminatory
practices in determining child custody, visitation and support
awards, wherein some 85% to 90% of all child custody awards
go to mothers, even though a large percentage of these mothers
engage in severe parental alienation of their children toward
the non-custodial father.
* Do not follow the law as they are duty bound
and legally required to do. Appeals are not an option as they
are far too costly for most litigants to afford.
* Encourage and promote lying, cheating, deception
and perjury by litigants fighting over control and custody
of their children. In allowing and promoting this they severely
harm innocent children without any remorse or conscience whatsoever.
* Purposely encourage and promote heightened
parental conflict, anger and hostility leading many times
to extreme acts of family violence and severe cases of PAS
* Go out of their way to divide and destroy
many long-standing family, parent and child relationships
through their arrogance, ignorance and gross Judicial misconduct.
* Encourage and promote lawyer greed that robs
many unsuspecting families and children of much needed financial
resources to start a new life after divorce.
* Go out of their way to deny litigants their
basic constitutional rights of due process and equal protection
under the law.
* Treat financially strapped litigants with
utter contempt and disrespect when they are forced to represent
themselves in pro per.
* Abdicate their own solemn judicial obligations
and responsibilities to grossly unprofessional and unqualified
outside mercenary therapists they appoint to make their decisions
* Fail to properly educate litigants and their
children as to all the emotional pain and trauma divorce can
cause in a family, and especially the pain and suffering of
* Fail to properly handle cases in a timely
and well thought out manner due to massive court overcrowding,
under funding and under staffing.
* Display a great deal of insufferable arrogance,
lack of human compassion and insensitivity when they know
children and families are being ripped and torn apart but
do absolutely nothing to stop it.
* Resist any meaningful change or reform to
the court claiming that their court needs no change or reform
as they are all doing a good job.
* Are not held accountable to anyone for their
mistakes, misconduct, misdeeds, negligence or malfeasance
which can and does cause many innocent parents, families and
children to suffer a lifetime of irreparable harm and damage.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE REFORMS NEEDED TO PREVENT ALL THESE PAS
ATROCITIES FROM OCCURING IN THE FAMILY COURT
1. Abolish no-fault divorce immediately.
2. Abolish the adversarial system of dispute
resolution in all matters involving child custody, visitation
and support immediately.
3. Establish mandatory parenting educational
classes, annexed mediation and binding arbitration in place
of the adversarial system in all matters involving children.
4. Strictly adhere to basic Constitutional
protections of due process and equal protection under the
5. Insure that both parents have equal shared
parenting of their children after divorce.
6. Change all child custody, support and visitation
laws and inflammatory language of divorce (such as the words
“custody” and “visitation”) to acknowledge
and guarantee this concept of shared parenting and impose
harsh penalties for any willful violations of the law.
7. Overhaul the entire failed child support
establishment, collection and enforcement system.
8. Appoint more experienced and better-qualified
Judges, mediators and mental health professionals and make
them accountable for their work and decisions.
9. Invest in a massive upgrading of computer
technology capabilities for all Family Court systems’
rules, procedures, record keeping and public education to
streamline itself and cut down on time, costs, personnel,
red tape and overcrowding.
A LOOK AT SOME REALLY BAD JUDGES
WHO PROMOTE PAS CHILD ABUSE
It has been said that if you took all the robes
of all the Judges who ever lived on this earth they wouldn’t
be large enough to cover the iniquities of one bad and corrupt
Judge. On my web site at www.FamilyCourts.Com I have a section
called “THE WORST AND MOST CORRUPT FAMILY COURT JUDGES
IN AMERICA. Over the past two years after I first posted my
own nominations for these corrupt Family Court Judges, I have
also received literally thousands of e-mail replies from people
all over the country telling me about their nominations for
the worst Family Court Judges in America. Many of these comments
interestingly enough mirrored exactly what I had to say about
the two bad Judges that I was so unfortunate to have in my
case. On my web site I had this to say about these two Judges
in my case....
1. JUDGE ROBERT TAYLOR
Palm Springs & Riverside County California....
One of the worst and most incompetent Family
Court Judges in America. A man responsible for hundreds of
child abuse case victims being allowed to continue living
with their abusive parents. Completely ignorant of the law
and of Parental Alienation Syndrome (PAS) inculcated in children
by alienating and emotionally abusive parents. A Judge who
admitted in official court documents and transcripts that
he knows nothing about Family Law and so he has to rely on
divorce lawyers and court appointed psychologists to help
him do his job. In my daughter’s case of severe PAS
abuse this man was 100% responsible, not for the abuse itself,
but for allowing the abuse to continue on for more than three
years. This, of course, led to my daughter’s severe
PAS condition which to this day, some nine years later, has
Incidentally people in Riverside California
will be glad to know that in spite of this man’s criminal
contribution to the abuse of my daughter by aiding and abetting
her abusers for three years and in spite of his own declarations
in Court that he was totally inexperienced in Family Law,
he was nevertheless recently appointed as chief Judge of the
Family Law Division of the Palm Springs/Riverside Superior
Court System. Now what does that tell you about the complete
corruption and incompetency of our Family Court system today?
2. JUDGE CORNELIA SHUFORD-HARTMAN
.Indio & Riverside County California
This is a woman who allowed my 12 year old
daughter to drive around in a car with a man who had been
twice convicted of DUI and had six outstanding arrest warrants
against him for speeding at speeds over 100 miles an hour.
This was also a woman who allowed my daughter, at the age
of twelve, to dictate to me whether or not she would obey
me or for that matter even see me. This was after I demanded
a court order mandating that she see me and obey me as her
father when I forbid her from driving in a car with this man.
This woman was a former commissioner of the
Indio California Family Court who was found to have engaged
in serious judicial and personal misconduct in the discharge
of her duties. Reprimanded by the court and subsequently reassigned
to the Juvenile court where she currently, (and to no one’s
great surprise), received more complaints against her than
any other Judge in the entire Riverside County Superior Court
This is also a woman who was married three
times, had a long history of closet alcohol abuse, and whose
own children had been constantly in trouble with the law.
In addition she became the subject of a number of other serious
misconduct investigations by the court for the many complaints
lodged against her. She was also found by the Court to be
extremely lazy, abrasive while failing to carry out her duties
on the court in a timely and proper manner. She was also known
to have ordered the sole custody of severely abused children
back to their abusing parents and sported a well known reputation
for discriminating against fathers in child custody disputes.
In my case this woman also aided and abetted in my daughter’s
PAS abuse by failing to stop it from happening when she should
have and could have. In short this is a woman who shouldn’t
even be allowed near any courthouse, let alone be allowed
to be a Family Court Judge.
3. Judge Christopher Munch
District Court, Jefferson County, Colorado
Another candidate for your bad judge list is Christopher Munch
in the First Judicial District in Jefferson County, Colorado.
"He fails to enforce court orders requiring disclosure
of assets. He is known far and wide for absolutely refusing
to grant a continuance for any reason. He proceeds even though
discovery cannot be completed due to failing to enforce motions
to compel and for sanctions. He interprets rules and laws
to suit his understanding. Hearings are cut short because
he has to go to a meeting.
"He ignores marital debts paid by the husband and then
makes him pay the wife's debts as well. Refuses to divide
assets [equitably] as prescribed by law if it is the woman
who has the greater assets in her retirement account. He combines
trivia with arrogance and regards it as intelligence.
4. Judge Morris Sandstead
District Court Judge, 20th Judicial District
Reports from litigants indicate Judge Sandstead is biased,
arrogant, yells at litigant-parents in court, fails to pay
attention, confuses the identities of witnesses – generally
a family court burnout case.
5. Judge Cheryl L. Post
District Court, 18th Judicial District
An impeachment inquiry was attempted in 1998 in the Colorado
House of Representatives against Judge Post, but the House
ignored the citizen-father's Petition. The intended inquiry
concerned extensive violations of father's constitutional
and statutory rights in a post-decree "custody"
and visitation action. The affidavit supporting the Petition
for Impeachment submitted to the State House listed almost
20 discrete violations of U.S. and State Constitutional protections
and numerous flagrant violations of statutory law. Needless
to say, the children in the case before Judge Post continue
to suffer from the legacy of her brand of "justice."
The father will try again in the 2000 Session of the Legislature.
Judge Post's flagrant violations of the Constitutions of both
the U.S. and Colorado, and statutory law, should disqualify
her from ever practicing law in the United States, let alone
sitting in "judgment" of an innocent father and
6. Judge J. Michael Bollman
San Diego Superior Court
San Diego, California
"Judge Bollman ignored the Constitution, the Bill of
Rights, free speech and privacy and all local rules and California
law in his mad dash to bow before this power elite attorney,
a phenomenon prevalent in San Diego courts. He later admitted
that he acted knowingly acted unlawfully and commented that
if the father didn't like it he should do something about
it (finally, a court order the father could happily comply
with). Judge Tobin had specifically retained jurisdiction
over this case but that was swept aside and little things
like due process and equal protection weren't given even lip
7. Hon. Richard Hunter
Former chief judge of the King's County (Brooklyn) Family
Prominent member of the New York State Commission on Child
Judge Hunter on fathers:
"You have never seen a bigger pain in the ass than the
father who wants to get involved; he can be repulsive. He
wants to meet the kid after school at three o'clock, take
the kid out to dinner during the week, have the kid on his
own birthday, talk to the kid on the phone every evening,
go to every open school night, take the kid away for a whole
weekend so they can be alone together. This type of father
Quoted in "The Fathers Also Rise," New York Magazine,
November, 18, 1985.
8. Judge Herbert L. Stern
District Court, 2nd Judicial District
Judge Stern executed on an illegal contempt order entered
by a prior, incompetent judge, and threw a father of two children
in jail for an alleged credit card debt to a former wife incurred
while the couple was still married. Colorado law establishes
unequivocally that imprisonment for contract debt is illegal.
Judge Stern yelled at the self-represented father in court,
insulted him, and had him hand-cuffed in front of his wife
and led away, all for a credit card debt which he had ALREADY
PAID. Judge Stern represents state justice run amok.
Bad Family Law Judges Destroy Families and Children's Lives
DO ANY OF THESE COURTS OR JUDGES CARE ABOUT YOU AND YOUR CHILDREN?
SOME IMPORTANT QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF.
* When all these Judges can go home at night
after work and play ball with their sons or cuddle up with
their daughters, do they give any thought or care to the fact
that you can’t do the same with your sons and daughters
because of their gross Judicial neglect and ignorance?
* When all these Judges can also go home at
night to help their children with their homework and maybe
watch some TV or play a game with them, do they give any thought
or care to the fact that you can’t do any of these things
with your children because of them?
* When all these Judges can go out trick or
treating with their children on Halloween or go camping and
fishing with them on weekends, do they give any thought or
care to the fact that you can’t do the same with your
children because of them?
* When all these Judges can go to the movies
and shopping or to a ball game or a school play with their
children, do they give any thought or care to the fact that
you can’t do any of these things with your children
because of them?
* When all these Judges can celebrate their
children’s birthdays with them, as well as Christmas,
Thanksgiving, Easter and other important holiday times together
as a family do they give any thought or care to the fact that
you can’t celebrate any of these birthdays and holidays
together with your children as a family because of them?
* When all these Judges can take their children
to church or synagogue every week to help them in their spiritual
education and training do they give any thought or care to
the fact that you can’t take your children to do the
same thing because of them?
* When all these Judges can involve themselves
in their children’s academic education and school life
to help them learn and grow do they give any thought or care
to the fact that you can’t do the same with your children
because of them?
* When all these Judges can be there for their
children when they might need some fatherly or motherly advice
and comfort do they give any thought or care to the fact that
you can’t be there when your children might need the
same because of them?
* When all these Judges can be there for their
children when they are sick or troubled and in need of a shoulder
to cry on do they give any thought or care about the fact
that you can’t be there for your children like this
when they need you to be because of them?
* When all these Judges can go on family outings,
picnics and vacation trips with their children do they give
any thought or care to the fact that you can’t do the
same with your children because of them?
* When all these Judges can celebrate and enjoy
important family occasions like school graduations, weddings,
Christenings, Bar or Bas Mitzvahs or the birth of a new baby
or grandchild do they give any thought or care to the fact
that you can’t enjoy any of these things with your children
because of them?
* When all these Judges can look forward to
many happy years being close to their children as adults do
they give any thought or care to the fact that you will never
be able to do the same with your adult children because of
* When all these Judges would suffer great
heartache and pain over the loss of one or more of their children,
do they give any thought or care one bit about all the same
heartache and pain you would suffer over the loss of any of
your children because of them?
Okay.... what do you think now about what you
are about to do or have done in your divorce case to let one
of these Family Court Judges decide the fate of you and your
children? Can you trust them to look upon their job and their
decisions in the proper manner or do you have some questions
and reservations about them? Questions and reservations that
I wish I would have had when I walked into my Family Court
room nine years ago and was presented with the two of the
worst Judges in the history of the American Judicial system.
I should have thought about this then, and not nine years
later, after all the kidnapping and abuse of my daughter had
taken place, and because of these two terrible Judges I have
now lost her from my life forever?
THE BEST INTERESTS OF PAS CHILDREN
TOP TEN RULES TO COMBAT JUDICIAL ARROGANCE & IGNORANCE
You always hear Judges and psychologists say,
“We only want to do what’s in the best interests
of children, or as its called, BIC”. So what is this
BIC anyway and how does it apply to PAS abused and affected
children? Well under normal circumstances I always believed
that no matter what parents do either in their married life
or in their divorce and after divorce life they had one main
responsibility to their children. They made sure that they
were given the best possible life and upbringing they could
give them. This meant that they gave them all the love and
affection they could when they needed it and whatever discipline
they required when they needed it. It didn’t mean that
they would forego these responsibilities and engage in an
all out civil war for their control and custody when they
got divorced, which is what far too many divorcing parents
So if this is what looking out for the best
interests of your children is all about, then what do you
do when all of this falls apart. By falling apart, I mean
that instead of instilling love and respect in your children
for each other as a parent, either before or after the divorce,
one of you spends every waking moment instilling hatred and
disrespect in your children toward the other. What do you
do, and what does the Court do when this happens?
From my experience with the Family Court and
all its practitioners they do nothing to look out for your
children’s best interests under these circumstances.
How can they if they know nothing about this type of PAS scourge
that takes place every day in their Courtrooms? This is exactly
what the problem with PAS is today for parents and children
who are its victims. Nobody knows anything so nobody does
anything. Let me show you what I mean.
Ten years ago one of my children was subjected
to a relentless campaign of premeditated PAS brainwashing
and emotional child abuse at the hands of her mother and her
mother’s then convicted felon attorney. Unfortunately
at the time no one, including me, had ever heard of this kind
of PAS abuse before. The two Judges in my case never heard
of it. The two psychologists in my case never heard about
it, and of course, I never heard about it.
So what was the end result of all this ignorance
about this terrible disorder in children, and more specifically
in my own child back then ten years ago? I have never seen
her or spoken one word to her since, and neither have any
of her other family members, including her two brothers and
her sister, her only paternal aunt, her now deceased paternal
grandmother, or any of her now nine brand newly born nieces
and nephews. Does that sound like the best interests of my
daughter were served over these last ten years?
After repeated attempts by me to have all those
people in the Family Court who were responsible for this tragedy
say something to me in the way of an apology for all their
ignorance and complicity in what happened to my daughter and
to me and her entire family, all I could get from them was
this. In an e-mail to me from one of the high officials of
the Court several years ago he said to me, and I quote “I
know that the Judge in your case regrets what happened to
you and your daughter and has expressed to me that had he
known then what he knows now about PAS, things would have
turned out much differently”. Now isn’t that nice.
So what should I tell people now when they
write me and tell me their Judge and their psychologist and
their guardian ad litem, and their attorney, and their spouses
attorney don’t know anything about PAS, and when they
try and tell them about it all they do is shut them up? What
should I tell these people?
Well here is a condensed version of what I
tell them. In addition to my list of DO’s and DON’Ts
that you have read previously, I also give them my TEN (10)
most important rules about what to do about bad Judges, attorneys
and psychologists when they are confronted with a PAS situation
with their children. I call this... “My Top Ten Rules
to Combat Judicial Ignorance”. Follow my rules and you
have a chance of saving and protecting your children from
PAS. Ignore my rules and you don’t stand a chance of
protecting them and saving them. Here now then are my rules.
RULE 1. Read over and sign my Universal Parenting
Agreement (UPA) and Rules of Conduct and Behavior with your
children after divorce, and give you children each a copy
of my Children of Divorce Bill of Rights to read if they are
old enough. Copies of these are contained in the appendix
at the end of the book.
RULE 2. You should then send a signed copy
of this agreement to your Judge, your lawyer, your spouse
and your spouse’s lawyer and any and all Court appointed
psychologists or GAL’s assigned to your case. You do
this as your solemn commitment to everyone as to how you intend
to act and behave in your case with your children.
RULE 3. Once you have done this you then ask
for a similar written statement of commitment from your spouse
along with a written statement from your Judge, your attorney,
your spouse’s attorney and any other person involved
in your case appointed by the Court, stating that each of
them has been thoroughly schooled and trained in the handling
of severe PAS cases. (See my Family Court Judge Questionnaire)
RULE 4. If any one of these people refuse or are unable to
give you such a written statement, then you should immediately
ask for their prompt removal from your case. You simply cannot
afford to have anyone even remotely involved in your case
who will not make this kind of a written commitment to you
that they are qualified enough to handle such a PAS case as
RULE 5. If anyone disputes your right to make
such a request of them, you should then make both your request
and their refusal to honor your request a part of the written
Court record along with the following statement..... “that
as a parent you have every moral, legal and ethical right
to make such a request and that based upon those rights you
intend to file an immediate appeal to a higher court that
any and all court orders that they may want to issue in your
case be declared null and void and unconstitutional because
of their refusal to honor your request.
You should know that The Supreme Court of the
United States has upheld your Constitutional right as a parent
to make sure your children’s life, liberty and pursuit
of happiness, or as we call it their “best interests”
are properly served and protected in all the Courts of this
land. Making sure you have people in your Court who have the
knowledge and the training and the experience to serve and
protect those rights of your children is exactly what the
Supreme Court had in mind when it made this ruling on your
behalf as a parent.
RULE 6. If you do obtain these written statements
of competency from everyone from the Court involved in your
PAS case, then proceed to follow rules number seven (7) through
ten (10) exactly as I have stated them.
RULE 7. Do not under any circumstances allow
anyone from the Court or anywhere else, like your ex-spouse,
to separate you and your children for any longer than two
(2) weeks at the most. This rule is critical for you to follow
and for the Court to follow and vigorously enforce in any
RULE 8. Keep copious notes about any and all
events and activities that you feel conform to the classic
behaviors of PAS abusing parents and behaviors and symptoms
of PAS abused children. You will need these notes to show
to your attorney, the Court and/or your Court appointed psychologist
and/or GAL that this kind of behavior is not in keeping with
the Court’s or your commitment and objective, or your
spouse’s commitment and objective if they have made
one, of doing what is in the best interests of your children.
RULE 9. Make sure that whenever possibly you
try and document your notes with some form of proof as to
any of these PAS behaviors in your children and their alienating
parent, if there are any. Things like police reports you have
had to file showing purposeful and willful interference with
you court ordered visitation, derogatory remarks made about
you by your ex-spouse or children in front of others or on
home or business answering machines, interference with being
able to obtain your child’s school or medical records
that can be documented and attested to by others. The list
is virtually endless of all the things that go on in PAS cases
that you can obtain some concrete proof and corroboration
of to show the court what is really going on in your case.
RULE 10. Do everything in your power to fully cooperate with
the Court and anyone else the Court asks or appoints to try
and get to the truth about your PAS case. This is very important
for you to do so as to try and bring your PAS case to a successful
resolution in the shortest amount of time possible. If you
truly want the best interests of your children to be served
and protected then you will do everything humanly possible
to bring this about as quickly as you can and with as much
cooperation as you can.
PAS LEGAL CITATIONS AND ORGANIZING YOUR PAS
MATERIAL AND INFORMATION FOR YOUR JUDGE AND OTHERS
Written by: Kathleen Thomas, A victimized PAS mother
One of the major problems I encountered when explaining my
case to an attorney so he could explain it to the Judge was
not being able to keep date, times and locations of events
organized in my mind. I could tell him “when I call
the kids, I get hung up on” or “One time, my ex
was a full hour late dropping the kids off” but I could
only tell him that it happened sometime in March or earlier
this year. Specifics are what your attorney will need to give
him/her an extra edge in the courtroom with your Judge. Organizing
this material is not difficult but it does entail a little
effort. That effort is well worth it and can make a world
of difference in court. A Judge will listen (you hope) more
closely to testimony that includes specific dates and times
and can be supported by proof (like phone bills or cancelled
checks). Organizing your own material will also save you a
fortune in legal bills. The more research your attorney has
to do, the more hours you will pay for.
Below is a fairly simple way to keep track of the information
your attorney may need. You will need to buy a three ring
binder (at least a 1” or more) and a set of dividers
(get a 10 section set, just to be safe). If you are making
notes on the computer, you will need a three-hole punch.
Section 1 (Summary Overview)
First, include a copy of your original divorce
decree. Behind that write specific orders from the decree
and explained how your ex is not living up to the agreement.
For example if the order states:
“each parent shall claim one child as a dependent for
On your summary sheet, write the exact phrasing from the decree
(with page and paragraph numbers noted) and you may add something
My ex has claimed both of the children for each of the two
years following our divorce.
Go through each applicable section of the decree (or any other
order from the court that would apply to the situation) following
the above example.
This general overview allows your attorney to quickly become
familiar with the case. Remember that your attorney can only
be as good as the information that you provide to him/her.
This summary gives him/her the reasons to file a motion to
change custody or a motion for contempt of court.
Section 2 (Telephone visitation)
In this section, keep a record of all attempted
telephone visits with your children. This is a time that can
often be very stressful and conversations or arguments can
seldom be proved one way or the other. That is why accurate
records of this time are so important.
I use the following format to record phone-time. This is for
||Make note of any conversation with ex or children. Note
tone of voice. Use as many specific quotes as possible
if there is a disagreement with ex during this time.
||Make a note of the message you left. I always leave
my phone number on the message (even though I know he
knows it) and try to sound as polite as possible.
If a phone call to your children is long-distance,
also keep a copy of your telephone bills in this section to
further corroborate to your notes. You may also want to record
you calls. If you are doing this, make sure to let your ex
know (tell them while recording “this call is being
taped” or “I am taping our conversation”).
This will give you a better chance to get the tapes introduced
as evidence. Talk to your attorney about specific requirements
on taping conversations in your state.
Telephone points to keep in mind
1) Always be cordial. Remember, even if you are not keeping
notes, your ex may be. Don’t lose your temper on the
telephone and say things that you will later regret. It may
come back to haunt you.
2) Never threaten. This is completely counter-productive and
unnecessary. Depending on the threat, it could also be illegal.
3) DO NOT tell your ex what you are planning to say or use
in court. This is a mistake I made during my divorce. This
only gives your ex time to plan a counter-attack. If there
is anything that needs to be said about your case, your attorney
will take care of it.
Section 3 (Transitions)
In this section, make note of everything that
occurs during times of transition (drop-offs or pick-ups).
Note the condition of the children, the attitude of the children,
articles that are sent with the children (clothes, toys or
medicine), the time and location of the transition and any
conversation that takes place. If an argument takes place,
make careful notes and include as many specific comments as
During a transition, every discussion or action
is taking place in front of your children and will have an
impact on their opinion of the situation, so remain as calm
March 25, 2001
McDonalds on 5th street in Anywhere
Met at McDonalds to pick the kids up. Ex started yelling at
me about a medical bill that has not yet been paid. I tried
to explain that I had not received a bill and he/she should
just give me a copy of it so I could take care of it. He/she
threatened not to let me see the kids again until the bill
was paid. I asked him/her again to give me a copy of the bill.
He/she said to get it from the doctor. I will take care of
that this week.* The kids were crying when we left. When we
got home, I noticed that “child’s” medication
was not in the suitcase and there were no jackets for the
kids to go outside in.
*If there is a note in your report that relates to something
you will be “taking care of” later this week.
Note the day you took care of it. If it is a bill to pay,
include a copy of the payment check.
Section 4 (Ex Interaction and Behavior)
This section is to note anything that your ex does to specifically
exclude you from your child’s activities. If there is
a school event that you are not informed of or if you are
informed but given the wrong date. If you find that you are
not listed as the father/mother on the child’s school
or medical records. If you are not provided with insurance
or doctor information. Any of this would be applicable in
Also, if you are not on the child’s medical or school
records as a parent, get copies of these records as proof.
Other things to note in this section
1) Any medical treatment your child has received that you
have not been informed of (within a reasonable time or if
you were informed by the children and not the other parent).
2) Any demands your ex has placed upon you that are contrary
to the divorce decree.
3) Any individual your ex has gossiped about you to (include
name, address and phone number)
4) Any major change (address, phone number) your ex has made
without informing you
5) Any suggestions to change your child’s last name
6) Any requests for you to sign over your parental rights
7) Any other behavior or action that is not in the “spirit”
of your custody agreement
Always remember to collect as much documentation
as possible. Include also how you found out the information
and any possible witnesses to the behavior.
Section 5 (Expert Opinions)
Use this section to record any expert evaluation
of your children or doctor visits regarding PAS. You will,
of course, also want your child’s doctor to testify
in court but this will give your attorney a good idea of what
that testimony will contain.
Section 6 (False Abuse Allegations)
In this section, keep records of any abuse allegations
made against you, any DHS investigations and determinations.
If there is a hearing, keep a record for yourself of what
each witness testified to and specifically what the children
said (if they testified)
Section 7 (Child Comments and Behavioral Pattern)
In this section, make careful notes of negative
comments about you that are coming from you child. If possible,
find a witness that can verify that the child is making these
comments. Save any e-mails or letters from the child that
will demonstrate their altered opinion of you. If possible,
compare these letters to older letters that will demonstrate
the child’s change in mindset to the court. Also, get
as much information as possible regarding changes in the child’s
behavior in school, church, social or extra-curricular activities.
Teachers, coaches or ministers are good sources of information
in this case.
Keep a record of any disrespectful behavior
from the child directed toward you. Note what the cause of
the situation was, the child’s behavior and the manner
in which it was dealt with. (example: Johnny started throwing
a fit in the department store, so I refused to buy him a toy.
He started screaming and hitting me. I promptly took him home
and sent him to his room (alone and with no television) for
Get as much documentation as possible and always
try to note (or ask witnesses to note) exact phrases that
the child uses. Keep the names, addresses and telephone numbers
or anyone you have notes from, just in case your attorney
decides to contact them.
Additional Section Suggestions
1) Any previous sign of PAS in your ex. (example:
If your ex was separated from a parent during childhood)
2) Current or previous relationships (since your divorce)
that your ex has been involved in and hidden from you (example:
3) Daycare or Baby-sitters that you are not kept informed
of or that do not allow you to have contact with your children.
4) Property Destruction
5) Threats made against you
Each situation is different, there may be some
headings above that are applicable to your situation or you
may have to come up with some of your own if your case has
a unique twist.
There are a few things to remember during this
1) Stay calm. You are not the only person in
the world this has happened to. You are not an evil person
and you do have the right to visit with your children. You
are fighting for what is right because your children will
suffer for not being able to develop a healthy relationship
with both parents.
2) Do not attempt to openly retaliate. This
will only reinforce any bad opinions of you that your children
are beginning to form. Allow your attorney to take care of
anything that will appear negative (they don’t have
to raise your kids after this is over).
3) Do not get angry with your children. They
are also the victims in this ordeal. They are being taught
a negative impression of you just like they are taught ABC’s
or Mathematics. Children are little sponges and will absorb
any available information. They have no control over the situation.
4) Keep notes of everything. Write reports as
quickly as possible after an event so everything will still
be fresh in your mind. Use as many direct quotes as possible.
5) Educate your attorney. They studied law,
not psychology. Provide them with a brief summary of what
PAS is and how it relates to your case. Give them access to
your child’s therapist (if one is available) to answer
any questions that you may not be able to.
6) Become familiar with your state laws relating
to child custody. Some states have already addressed the issue
of PAS and some have not.
7) Do not argue with your ex. This can accomplish
nothing but providing your ex with more ammunition to use
against you. If you must disagree, do it calmly. If you get
no response from a calm, rational voicing of a concern, add
it to your notes to use in court.
8) Do not expect too much. Don’t expect
your ex to tell the truth in court and don’t be shocked
when they don’t. Don’t expect your attorney to
understand every detail of your case or to recall it instantly.
Don’t expect that a judge will believe you just because
you are telling the truth. You must back yourself up as much
9) Take mental health breaks. This is a very
stressful time to any parent. Make sure to take time for yourself
and allow for stress breaks. This will keep you healthy and
LEGAL CITATIONS ABOUT PAS TO SHOW YOUR JUDGE & ATTORNEY
Testimony concerning Parental Alienation and the Parental
Alienation Syndrome that has been admitted in courts of law
in many states and countries
• Coursey v. Superior (Coursey), 194 Cal.App.3d 147,239
Cal.Rptr. 365 (Cal.App. 3 Dist., Aug 18, 1987. The Court finds
that the mother, Loretta Coursey, has induced such animosity
of their daughter toward their father, Eugene Coursey, that
the child now suffers with parental alienation syndrome, and
refuses to visit her father. The Court, therefore, fines the
mother $500 and sentences her to five (5) days in jail. The
order, however, is stayed as long a the mother successfully
completes scheduled visitations of their daughter with the
father. The Court also orders Loretta Coursey to pay Eugene
Coursey $1,000 for attorney fees. (COURSEY V. COURSEY Sutter
County Superior Court (California) No. 33254 August 18,1987)
• Schultz v. Schultz, 522 So.2d 874, 13 Fla L. Weekly
387 (Fla. App. 3 Dist., Feb 09, 1988). Reference is made here
to the parental alienation syndrome and the inculcation of
the children's alienation by the mother. The Court threatened
"the severest penalties this Court can impose, including
contempt, imprisonment, loss of residential custody, or any
combination thereof if the mother did not comply with this
Court's order to cease and desist from her "slowly dripping
poison into the minds of the children" rather than to
instill love and respect for the father.On appeal the Florida
Third District Appeals Court ruled that the Judge had acted
properly and that there were no grounds for the mother's appeal.
(SCHUTZ V. SCHUTZ, 467 So. 2nd 407 Fla. 4th DCA 1985)
• In interest of T.M.W., 553 So.2d 260, 14 Fla. L. Weekly
2733, (Fla.App. I Dist., Nov 28, 1989).
• Rosen v. Edwards (1990) Tolbert, J. (1990), AR v.
SE. New York Law Journal, December 11:27-28.(The December
11, 1990 issue of The New York Law Journal [pages 27-28] reprinted,
in toto, the ruling of Hon. J. Tolbert of the Westchester
Family Court in Westchester Co.)
• In re Violetta 210 III.App.3d 521, 568 N.E2d 1345,
154 III.Dec. 896(Ill.App. I Dist Mar 07, 1991).
• Karen B v. Clyde M., Family Court of New York, Fulton
County, 151 Misc. 2d 794; 574 N.Y. 2d 267, 1991.
• Stuart-Mills, P. v. Cher, A.J.., Sup. Ct. Quebec,
Dist. of Montreal, No. 500-12-184613-895 (1991).
• Sims v. Hornsby, 1992 WL 193682 (Ohio App. 12 Dist.,
Butler County, Aug 10 1992).
• Toto v. Toto, No. 62149, Court of Appeals of Ohio,
Eighth Appellate District, Cuyahoga County, 1992.
• Krebsbach v. Gallagher, Supreme Court, App. Div.,
181 A.D.2d 363; 587 N.Y.S. 2d 346, (1992). “Interference
with the relationship between a child and a noncustodial parent
by the custodial parent is an act so inconsistent with the
best interests of the child as to per se raise a strong probability
that the offending party is unfit to act as a custodial parent”
(Leistner v Leistner, 137 A.D.2d 499, 524 N.Y.S.2d 243; see
also, Matter of Krebsbach v Gallagher, 181 A.D.2d 363, 366,
587 N.Y.S.2d 346)
• In re Marriage of Rosenfeld, 524 N.W. 2d 212 (Iowa
App., Aug 25 1994) McCoy v. State 886 P.2d 252 (Wyo.,Nov 30,
• McCoy v State of Wyoming, 886 P.2d 252, 1994.
• Sidman v. Zager, Family Court, Tompkins County, NY:
• Truax v. Truax, 110 Nev. 437, 874 P. 2d 10 (Nev.,
May 19, 1994).
• Blackshear v. Blackshear, Hillsborough County, FL
13th Jud. Circuit: 95-08436.
• Conner v. Renz, 1995 WL 23365 (Ohio App. 4 Dist.,
Athens County, Jan 19, 1995).
• State v. Koelling, 1995 WL 125933 (Ohio App. 10 Dist.,
Franklin County, Mar 21, 1995).
• Lubkin v. Lubkin, 92-M-46LD Hillsborough County, NH.
(Southern District, Sept. 5, 1996).
• Blosser v. Blosser, 707 So. 2d 778; 1998 Fla. App.
Case No. 96-03534.
• Case v. Richardson, 1996 WL 434281 (Conn. Super.,Jul
• In re John W., 41 Cal.App.4th 961, 48 Cal.Rptr.2d
• Tucker v. Greenberg, 674 So. 2d 807 (Fla. 5th DCA
• In re Marriage of Janelle S. v. J.R.S., Court of Appeals
of Wisconsin, District 4. 1997 Wisc. App. LEXIS 1124 (1997).
• Johnson v. Johnson, 4806-11508A. Queen's Bench of
Alberta (Canada), Judicial District of Letheridge/Macleod,
Oct. 8, 1997.
• Johnson v.Johnson, Appeal No. SA1 of 1997 No.AD6182
of 1993, 7 July 1997 (Australian case).
• Ange, Court of Appeals of Virginia, 1998 Va. App.
Lexis 59 (1998).
• Metza v. Metza, Sup. Court of Connecticut, Jud. Dist.
of Fairfield, at Bridgeport, 1998 Conn. Super. Lexis 2727
• Pisani v. Pisani, Court of Appeals of Ohio, 8th App.
Dist. Cuyahoga Cty. 1998 Ohio App. Lexis 4421 (1998).
• Pathan v. Pathan, Case No. 96-OS-1. Common Pleas Court
of Montgomery County, OH, Div. of Dom Rel.
• In re Marriage of Valerie Edlund v. Gregory Hales,
66 Cal. App 4th 1454; 78 Cal. Rptr. 2d 671.
• Popovice v. Popovice, Court of Common Pleas, Northampton
Cty, PA. Aug 11, 1999, No. 1996-C-2009.
• Waldrop v. Waldrop, in Chancery No. 138517. Fairfax
County Circuit Court,(Va., April 26, 1999).
• Oosterhaus v. Short, District Court, County of Boulder
(CO), Case No. 85DR1737-Div III.
• White v. White, 655 N.E.2d 523 (Ind.App., Aug 31,
• Zigmont v. Toto, 1992 WL 6034 (Ohio App. 8 Dist Cuyahoga
County, Jan 16, 1992).
• Berg-Perlow v. Perlow, 15th Circuit Court, Palm Beach
County, Fl.,Case no. CD98-1285-FC. Mar 15, 2000.
(An exceptionally strong family court decision in which five
experts testified to the diagnosis of PAS.)
• Tetzlaff v. Tetzlaff, Civil Court of Cook County,
Il., Domestic Relations Division, Cause No. 970 2127, Mar
• CASE OF ELSHOLZ v. GERMANY European Court of Human
Rights, July 13, 2000
(an important decision, click on link http://www.fact.on.ca/Info/pas/legal/internat/elsholz.htm
to view the decision in its entirety.)
Other Important Legal Citations
having to do with Parental Alienation and PAS
In SCHWARTZ V. SCHWARTZ, (1 Dept 1965) 23 A.D.
2d 204, 259 N.Y.S. 2d 751, the Court states: “Procedures
in Family Court should as consistently as possible conform
to the spirit of the CPLR without necessarily importing the
punctiliousness or complexities and technical requirements
thereof; the procedure is to be used as a working tool and
not impediment to the function of Family Court.”
“Best interests of child lie in his being
nurtured and guided by both natural parents. TWERSKY V. TWERSKY,
(2 Dept 1984) 103 A.D. 2d 775, 477 N.Y.S. 2d 409
“Visitation is not only a joint right
of a parent and child, but it is also in the best interests
of child to have a meaningful relationship with his or her
father. LYNG V. LYNG, (4 Dept 1985) 112 A.D. 2d 29, 490 N.Y.S.
“A trial judge abuses his or her discretion
if he or she renders a decision that is clearly against the
logic and effect of the facts and circumstances before the
court or the reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom.”
PRENATT V. STEVENS (1992) 4th Dist. Ind.App., 598 N.E.2d 616,
619; WALKER V. WALKER (1989) 4th Dist. Ind.App., 539 N.E 2d
“Custodial parent has an affirmative duty
to assure that visitation occurs.” SPENSER V. SPENSER,
1985, 128 Misc 2d 298, 488 N.Y.S. 2d 565 (emphasis added).
“Change of child custody is appropriate
if the custodial parent’s conduct deliberately frustrates,
denies, or interferes with the other parents visitation rights.”
VICTOR L. V. DARLENE L. (1 Dept 1998) ___ A.D. 2d ___, 674
N.Y.S. 2d 371 (emphasis added).
“The law, at a minimum, requires custodian
of illegitimate child to do something to encourage and foster
relationship between child and non-custodial parent to aid
in gaining visitations; custodian may not simple remain mute
and passive and in so doing impede visitation.” JOYE
V. SCHECHTER, 1983, 118 Misc 2d 403, 460 N.Y.S. 2d 992 (emphasis
“Mother of illegitimate child, who had
done nothing to encourage visitation or to foster a relationship
between child and her father, failed to take any steps to
cure hate that was instilled in child, and, due to her admitted
strong persistent anti-visitation attitude, would not voluntarily
encourage visitation, could be found in violation of visitation
order despite her contention that no proof of negative action
on her part was established.” JOYE V. SCHECHTER, 1983,
118 Misc 2d 403, 460 N.Y.S. 2d 992 (emphasis added)
“Termination of biological parents’
visitation rights with child, on ground that visitation caused
child anxiety and emotional distress, was not supported by
record..” MCCAULIFFE V. PEACE, (3 Dept 1991) 176 A.D.
2d 382, 574 N.Y.S. 2d 528
“In child custody case, where future of
child is at stake, the determination of which parent ought
to be awarded custody ought not to rest upon failure of proof
or even solely upon proof adduced if proof is in any way unsatisfactory
or deemed unreliable.” CORNELL V. HARTLEY, 1967, 54
Misc. 2d 732, 283 N.Y.S. 2d 318
“Critical question of child custody should
not be decided upon limited evidence such as testimony of
parties and child when independent evidence could be obtained
in near future through reasonable efforts of the parties and
auxiliary services of court system.” GIRALDO V. GIRALDO,
(1 Dept 1982) 85 A.D. 2d 164, 417 N.Y.S. 2d 785
“A parent, even if divorced, has a natural
right of access to child in other parties custody, and such
right should be denied only under exceptional circumstances
in recognition of paramount consideration of child’s
welfare.” HORNER V. HORNER, 1944, 184 Misc. 2d 989,
49 N.Y.S. 2d 720
“Objection of minor children to visitation
did not warrant completely depriving father of visitation.”
BENJAMIN V. BENJAMIN (2 Dept 1985) 114 A.D. 2d 395, 494 N.Y.S.
“A child’s expressed desire to live
with one parent is not exclusively determinative of long-term
best interest of the child.” JONES V. PAYNE (3 Dept.
1985) 113 A.D. 2d 968, 493 N.Y.S. 2d 650
“While the Court may consider the wishes
of a child, the child's desires are not controlling.”
OBEY V. DEGLING, 37 NY2d 768, 375 NYS2d 91 (1975); EBERT V.
EBERT, 38 NY2d 700, 382 NYS2d 474 (1976).
“In determining the issue of custody or
residency of a child, the court shall consider all relevant
factors, including but not limited to: ... The willingness
and ability of each parent to respect and appreciate the bond
between the child and the other parent and to allow for a
continuing relationship between the child and the other parent.”
(excerpt State of Kansas Family Law)
“The Sincerity of Each Parent's Request
This factor requires the court to be attentive to the possibility
of punitive or other improper motives. A parent who desires
a particular custody arrangement for the purpose of excluding
or reducing the other parent's involvement in the child's
life is to be noted.” (Excerpt Washington D.C. Family
“It is generally in the best interests
of child for rapport to be established with non-custodial
parent.” SCHACK V. SCHACK (2 Dept. 1983) 98 A.D. 2d
802, 469 N.Y.S. 2d 813.
“Although wishes of child of age of child
in case at bar, 12 years or more, should be given considerable
weight, it was an error for Family Court to make father’s
rights conditional upon wishes of daughter without showing
visitation would be detrimental to child’s welfare,
in view of father’s diligence in attempting to establish
a relationship with his daughter, his want of opportunity
to do so outside the presence of custodial grandparents and
in view of much hostility between father and grandmother.”
(Emphasis added) STRUM V. LYDING (4 Dept 1983) A.D. 2d 731,
465 N.Y.S. 2d 347
“A child’s best interests are plainly furthered
by nurturing child’s relationship with both parents,
and sustained course of conduct by one parent designed to
interfere in the child’s relationship with the other
casts serious doubts upon the fitness of the offending party
to be the custodial parent.” RENAUD V. RENAUD, (No.
97-334), slip op. At 4 VT 9.11.98
Change of custody was compelled where mother
had “engaged in ongoing conduct intended and designed
to impede, obstruct, and interfere with the development of
a healthy father-daughter relationship.” LEWIN V. LEWIN,
231 Cal. Rptr 433, 437 (Ca. Ct. App. 1986)
“Court abused discretion in awarding custody
to mother where evidence disclosed that she sought to denigrate
and deny emotional relationship between child and father.”
IN RE LEYDA, 355 NW 2d 862, 866 (Iowa 1984)
“[A] parent who willfully alienates a
child from the other parent may not be awarded custody based
on that alienation.” MCADAMS V. MCADAMS, 530 NW 2d 647,
650 (ND 1995)
“Father was entitled to full custody of
minor child and mother was to have no visitation privileges
or contact with her daughter, in view of mother’s programming
of minor child to accuse father of sexually abusing child
so that she could obtain sole custody and control and preclude
any contact that father might have with child.” KAREN
B. V. CLYDE M, 1991, 151 Misc. 2d 794, 574 N.Y.S. 2d 267
“Order directing father’s visitation
rights to be held in abeyance until child wished to see him
was improper absent evidence that father’s continued
visitation would be detrimental to child’s well-being;
while child’s feelings and attitudes were relevant,
they were not determinative.” VANDERHOFF V. VANDERHOFF
(2 Dept. 1994) 207 A.D. 2d 494, 615 N.Y.S. 2d 919
“Visitation with the father should not
have been conditioned on the wishes of his children; it tended
unnecessarily to defeat right of visitation.” MAHLER
V. MAHLER (2 Dept. 1979) 72 A.D. 2d 739, 421 N.Y.S. 2d 248
“Critical question of child custody should
not be decided upon limited evidence such as testimony of
parties and child when independent evidence could be obtained
in near future through reasonable efforts of parties and auxiliary
services of court system.” GIRALDO V. GIRALDO, (1 Dept
1982) 85 A.D. 2d 164, 447 N.Y.S. 2d 466 (emphasis added)
“Judges’ refusal to consider evidence
and psychological reports denies due process right to ‘meaningful
hearing.” ARMSTRONG V. MANGO, 380 U.S. 545, 552; 85
S. Ct. 187 (1965)
“Before terminating parent’s rights,
state must first attempt to reunite parent with child.”
MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP OF STAR LESLIE W., 1984 63 NY 2d
136, 481 N.Y.S. 2d 26, 470 NE 2d 824
“Efforts state must exercise to
strengthen parental relationship before terminating parental
rights include counseling, making suitable arrangements for
visitation, providing assistance to parents to resolve or
ameliorate problems preventing discharge of child to their
care.” MATTER OF THE GUARDIANSHIP OF STAR LESLIE W.,
1984 63 NY 2d 136, 481 N.Y.S. 2d 26, 470 NE 2d 824
LAWYERS OF THE FAMILY COURT:
ATTORNEY ASSISTED PAS CHILD ABUSE..... MY OWN CASE EXAMPLE
NOT ALL ATTORNEYS WEAR WHITE HATS
All of the information contained in the last section about
how to properly organize and present your PAS information
to your Judge and attorney is good sound advice, providing
you have a good Judge and are dealing with a good attorney
for you and your ex-spouse who are honest, decent and have
a great deal of experience with PAS cases. You should know,
however, that not all attorneys involved in the Family Court
wear white hats. Far too many, I am sad to say, wear very
dark black hats of PAS abuse and other kinds of abuse of children
that anyone dealing with the court and a severely affected
PAS child needs to know about. In almost all severe PAS cases
you can point the finger of giving birth to one of these cases
to a Family Court divorce attorney who represents the alienating
parent. Let me give you a case example to show you what I
Pretend for a moment it is the day after your wedding and
someone in your wedding party says half jokingly “Wow
that was sure a great wedding. I hope you guys never get a
divorce”, to which you both as a new bride and groom
look at each other and one of you says to the other.. “Gee
I don’t know what I would do I love you so much”,
while the other says “Well I know what I would do. I
would crucify you and if we had any children I would make
sure they hated you for the rest of their lives and that you
would never see them again”.
Preposterous, you say. No one on the day after they just got
married would ever say something like that. Well maybe not,
but you can bet your last dollar on the fact that this is
exactly how many spouses feel when the bloom comes off the
rose of their marriage and they find themselves going at each
other in divorce court.
Typically one spouse, who will become the “target”
parent in a PAS case, is the one who wants to merely get on
with the divorce and spare their children from any more pain
and heartache than they already feel over the breakup of the
family. The alienating spouse on the other hand, like the
one in the hypothetical example above who would destroy and
crucify their spouse if they ever got divorced by using their
children for revenge, does exactly that. To do that, however,
they need one thing. They need the help and assistance of
their friendly divorce lawyer to bring about this birth of
a full-blown severe PAS case.
In order to fully understand why and how these friendly divorce
attorneys do what they do so many times to try and destroy
families and family relationships and contribute to the inculcation
of PAS in their client’s children, you first have to
know what their motivation is. Simply put their motivation
is money and greed, along with a lot of ego gratification.
These people, on the whole, are not pillars of the community
dedicated to truth and justice in their profession of the
law. They are people who have a license in the Family Courts
of our nation to kill and destroy everything they touch while
getting paid huge amounts of money for doing so. Yes, there
are some good and decent divorce lawyers out there but, unfortunately,
they are too few and far between. Let me give you a clear
case example of what I mean...
For the “target” parent of a PAS child, who only
wants to get on with his or her divorce and not involve their
children in any way, their first warning of bad things to
come with their soon to become former spouse and their divorce
attorney is usually the receipt of either a letter from this
divorce attorney or some legal papers saying something like...
“before they get to see their children again, they will
be asking the court that they undergo a complete psychological
exam to determine their fitness to be a parent to their child
This will also, in many cases, be accompanied by some sort
of a written statement by the child or children involved that...
“They are mad at this “target” parent and
that they really don’t like the way they have acted
and behaved toward them lately”. To give you a clear
picture of this here is an actual letter plus many more you
will see, from one of these divorce lawyers to the “target”
parent, and others in one of these lawyer assisted PAS cases
I’m taking about. A child who up until this point had
enjoyed nothing but a wonderful close and loving relationship
with this “target” parent, her father, for more
than 12 years. The case example you are about to see I know
very well, because it happened to me and my child back in
1991, and as a result of what this lawyer did I haven’t
seen her since.
LAWYER’S ADVICE TO HIS CLIENT.....LET’S GET RID
OF THE FATHER COMPLETELY ANYWAY WE CAN.
Letter to father’s attorney:
I enclose for your information and review a
two (2) page report given by your client’s daughter
memorializing her wonderful weekend with “Daddy”.
His behavior would appear to be rather compulsive
and not designed to win the love and affection of your daughter.
Additionally, I understand that your client
bragged to his daughter on the telephone that he had bought
a race horse. She took a rather dim view of his extravagance
in this regard.
Please counsel your client to clean up his act
and his house and restock his refrigerator for the next visit
of his daughter.
I will be responding this weekend to your Show
Cause Order on the matter of joint physical custody of his
daughter. I believe that it will be appropriate for your client
to be examined by a mental health care professional before
he even gets any visitation rights with his daughter.
Spouse’s Divorce Lawyer
I should point out that what this lawyer was referring to
in this so-called “two page report” written by
this man’s daughter about him having to do with... “cleaning
up his act and his house and restocking his refrigerator”,
is this. During the previous weekend visit she had with her
father she bemoaned the fact that her father’s beds
weren’t made to her satisfaction and there was not enough
food to eat in the house so they had to go out to eat all
the time. As for the “race horse”, this was something
the father did with several business partners of his to make
money, which he thought his daughter would enjoy being a part
Anyway you can see how this PAS case was now
being born and nurtured by this friendly divorce attorney
at the behest of this father’s former wife and his now
partially inculcated PAS child. Let’s now take a look
at this case as it began to progress with this attorney and
his client during the after birth process.
This letter and accompanying “report”
I just showed you was written only a week or so after this
man’s divorce had started. From there things got progressively
worse and a few months later after this child was now almost
completely brainwashed against her father by this lawyer and
his client, this next event took place.
Because his daughter was now not paying any
attention to anything he said, the father felt he had to write
a letter to her private school he was paying for to ask them
to honor his wishes about certain of his daughter’s
activities...and one of those wishes about her activities
was that she was not to be allowed under any circumstances
to be picked up after school by her mother’s new live
in boyfriend because he had learned that he had a number of
traffic arrest warrants out for him in another state for DUI
and a half dozen unanswered citations for driving at high
speeds, some exceeding 100 miles per hour. In addition he
had also been convicted in this state of allowing minors to
drive his car. He also suggested to the school that they not
allow anyone else’s children to be picked up or driven
around in this man’s car either.
As this was a very important matter of his
child’s safety the father wanted his former wife to
know exactly how he felt about this so he faxed over a copy
of his letter to her attorney hoping that both he and his
client would see the seriousness and gravity of this matter
and forbid their daughter from ever driving in a car with
this man. If this was so, the letter would not have been necessary
to send. Instead of agreeing with his wishes, however, this
is the letter he received back from his former wife’s
attorney on this matter.
I have in hand your fax communication under
cover of March 30th.
First, as your daughter’s father, you
should be aware that she is 13 years of age and not 12. It
would help if you would pay attention to such details.
Second, if you send the proposed letter to her
school you only make a fool of yourself as well you will hurt
your daughter’s relationship with the other students
and you will continue to perpetuate the growing abyss as between
you two. I gave your letter to your daughter to read, and
after she stopped her tears, she asked me to contact you and
tell you that she does not want you to send the letter to
The future of a relationship as between you
and your daughter is in your control. Your lack of control
as of late has confirmed at least to me that you are in dire
need of counseling. Perhaps when you resolve all your problems
through therapy, you will be able to establish a reapprochement
under conditions of normalcy.
We will see you in Court on Thursday.
Very truly yours,
Spouse’s Divorce Attorney
Of course, neither the former wife nor her
attorney ever responded to this father’s urgent plea
about this man in the way he hoped they would, so the letter
he drafted was sent and immediately thereafter he got this
letter of response written to the school from the wife’s
Dear Mr. Headmaster:
I enclose a copy of a letter that I have addressed
to the court concerning the defamatory comments made by the
father of one of your students by letter of April 13th.
It is unfortunate that this father refuses to
seek the help and assistance of a mental health professional
that he so desperately needs to deal with his virtually uncontrollable
anger issues. This man is a very controlling person who loses
it when he does not get his way and spreads his toxicity to
anyone and everyone who might possibly be kind and helpful
to his daughter that is beyond his sphere of influence.
I trust that in the future that you will continue
to ignore this kind of virulent rhetoric from this toxic father
so that you will not suffer blindly at the hands of fools.
Spouse’s Divorce Attorney
Okay, so now we see this father’s concern
for his daughter’s safety being described by this divorce
attorney of his former wife as being “toxic”,
“defamatory” and a clear indication that this
man is in dire need of immediate therapy to overcome his “virtually
uncontrollable anger issues”. The fact that neither
his former wife nor his daughter have any of these same concerns
about his daughter’s safety, or that his daughter completely
ignores anything he says, and won’t even talk to him
or visit with him, is completely irrelevant and should not
be of concern to anyone.
Well this incident with the school was only
the beginning with this attorney and his client. A few weeks
later this father, because his daughter refused to speak with
him, wrote a letter to his daughter, that somehow found its
way into this attorney’s hands. A letter which addressed
some very serious, unacceptable behaviors of his daughter
toward her aunt, her very ill grandmother and her own sister.
This was the response the father’s attorney received
back from the former wife’s attorney regarding this
I enclose a copy of a letter authored by your
client with enclosure, addressed to his daughter which she
delivered to me on April 30th, with the request that I ask
her father to stop sending such letters. She made particular
reference to the term in the second paragraph which reads
in pertinent part as follows:
It would be very easy for you to call your aunt,
apologize for hanging up the phone on her and make a date
this week to visit your grandmother. You know that she is
very sick and may not have long to live.
You should know Sir that his daughter has expressed
the opinion that she is not interested (1) in attending the
wedding of her step-sister who has largely ignored her in
the past; (2) calling her Aunt who is as manipulative and
nasty as her father; or (3) visiting with her semi-senile
grandmother. As the court suggested at the time of our last
hearing, teenagers have a mind of their own.
My client has also given me a card dated Palm
Sunday but postmarked April 28th ( a copy of which is attached
for your convenience) with a lot of philosophical nonsense
written by the aunt that presumes that all problems in communication
originate with my client by stating in pertinent
.....Am I to feel your vitriolic acid cover
my heart, too? The pain that you have just caused me is deep.
How, in the name of God, have you wrought such despair in
the heart of a child? May I ask what I have done to cause
you to sew these seeds of malice into the very fabric of teenage
In response to this my client is not interested
in the Aunt’s misguided opinions about the true source
of the problem in communicating with her niece. She has only
uni-dimensional information about the sequela of events that
have caused the problems between the father and the family
with his daughter.
If you would rather, I can communicate directly
with the Aunt and ask her to stop addressing her snotty cards
to my client.
Very truly yours,
Spouse’s Divorce Attorney
From here this case finally wound up in court
a few months later where the Judge in the case stated quite
clearly that this man’s daughter “had indeed been
alienated against her father and his family”, however,
because he, the Judge, could not seem to be able to figure
out who was doing the alienating, he ordered a “status
quo” arrangement (which meant the former wife and her
attorney were still free to continue on with their PAS abuse,
while at the same time the daughter would continue to refuse
to see or communicate with the father at all). The Judge further
ordered that all the parties be evaluated by a court appointed
psychologist, with no time limit, however, being set to complete
this so-called “evaluation”.
NOW LET’S BRING ON THE PSYCHOLOGISTS
TO HELP GET RID OF THE FATHER
As was clearly predictable with this arrangement
and orders by the Judge, things went completely down hill
from here to the point where when a psychologist did finally
see the father and daughter some six months later, this was
the result. In two letters, one to the Court and one to the
father, this court appointed psychologists wrote the following.
In her letter to the Judge, she wrote:
I have met with the daughter who will be 14
years old in February. She remains solid in her decision to
completely cut off her ties with her father. She insists she
wishes to have nothing further to do with him presently or
in the future. She further expresses radical means by which
she will thwart any attempt made toward visitation even if
that visitation is supervised by me in my office, which would
take place after working with and preparing her father for
such visitation. Thus while I feel that this is an unfortunate
situation I do not feel I can accomplish the task of reconciliation
at this time. I would suggest a review of this situation in
a year. If you need any further clarification, please let
me know. I will be happy to confer with you.
Court Appointed Psychologist.
And this is the letter she wrote to the father
on the same date:
After working with your daughter in therapy
on December 18th, I find that there appears to be no hope
for reconciliation between you and her in the near future.
Your daughter is very definite and adamant that she has no
desire to attempt reconciliation, nor would she consider supervised
visits with you in my office. We discussed the ramifications
of this decision and how she might be sorry in the future,
but it did not impact her decision. Therefore I am writing
a letter to the Court stating that I cannot accomplish this
Court Appointed Psychologist
I will go into how these court appointed psychologists assist
in the PAS process, like was done here, later on in the next
For the next five months after these two letters
were written, and as had been the case for the preceding year
before, this father and his daughter had absolutely no communication
with each other at all. It had now been over a year and a
half since they either saw each other or spoke with each other,
except for one night at a high school football game when the
father went to try and find his daughter and all she did was
curse at him to leave her alone. Other than that all his daughter’s
communication with him had been through her mother’s
attorney as you have seen.
Now, at this point, the father had learned
that his daughter had been transferred to a new school without
his knowledge or permission and when he asked for and received
her latest report cards he saw that they were not even close
to the good grades she had always gotten before. Not only
were her scholastic grades poor, but she also received poor
grades for citizenship and work habits. To try and deal with
this under the severe PAS conditions that were now in full
bloom with his daughter, this father tried to communicate
his concerns over the poor grades to his daughter directly
by letter to her sent to her by way of the school principal.
He even promised her he would buy her a new car for graduation
if she would work harder to bring her grades and good citizenship
back up to where they belonged, and come see and visit with
him as she was supposed to do under the current court order
that was in place for over a year and a half.
The response to this very kind and “fatherly”
letter to his child came not from her, but from her mother’s
attorney again, as had always been the case in the past. This
letter to the father said in part.
I have received your latest communiqué
pointedly referencing the report card of your daughter from
her new School dated April 4th.
As always you rail against the system that you
claim has kept you from your daughter for a year and a half
and the reader is left with the distinct impression that you
blame the poor report card on that period of deprivation of
you as the father.
There is indeed another credible theory about
the so-called poor report card. It has something to do with
the father sending a letters to his daughter at her public
school, which requires that she be called out of class, trundled
off to the Principal’s office where she is given her
father’s letter and then goes back to class to experience
the jeers, humiliation and embarrassment of her classmates.
When one looks at the point of time when father
begins his campaign of communicating with his daughter through
the public school authorities, remarkably, one would note
and thereupon conclude that the rationale behind the poor
report card originates not from the year and a half separation
from father, but father’s inappropriate conduct in this
Spouse's Divorce Attorney
When this father received this he was livid
and fired off another letter to the school’ principal
letting her know that he was not about to put up with this
with his daughter and her mother’s attorney any longer.
In fact he wanted her help in trying to stop all this PAS
abuse of his daughter, which he told her in no uncertain terms
was the reason for his daughter’s poor grades and her
disrespectful behavior toward her father over the last year
and a half. Not to be one to let this letter of this father
to the principal go unchallenged, this attorney wrote the
father back and made sure he showed this father that a carbon
copy of his letter was being sent to the daughter. This response
letter said the following to the father:
I am in receipt of a copy of your letter of
May 24th addressed to your daughter’s school principal.
You have misread my previous letter to you regarding
the matter of your daughter. I have never, directly or indirectly
criticized the school principal or the school for responding
to your requests to pass on communications from you and your
family to your daughter.
Your letter assumes that the principal is aware
of and in agreement with your concept that the real tragedy
here as you always state....“that of a sweet, young
and innocent child who for a year and a half now has been
severely brainwashed and emotionally tortured and abused by
myself and my client. . . . I would assume that the principal
has not conducted her own independent factual investigation
to confirm or deny the truth or falsity of the quoted allegation
from your letter.
I wonder, for example, if you have told the
principal that you are seeking to remove the Judge in your
case from the bench for failing to give you exactly what you
want? Or have you sent the principal a copy of the newspaper
advertisement that you have placed in the local paper regarding
your attempt to initiate a grand jury probe into the Family
Law Court? And finally have you told the principal that you
are going after the psychologist licenses of one of the psychologists
in your case because she failed to agree with you on the matter
of reunification and visitation with your daughter? On top
of this, you have embarrassed your daughter with her classmates
when you were running for the local City Council.
The problem with the deteriorating relationship
as between you and your daughter, quite simply put, is YOU-YOU-YOU.
To address another part of your letter in which
you aim your personal barbs at me, I beg to briefly advise
I have only been married four (4) times not
The contempt citations as against me brought
by your attorney were all dismissed by the Court.
I never had any financial interest in the adult
press materials industry save an except for occasionally receiving
fees from clients who were being victimized by local law enforcement
officials for exercise of their First Amendment rights.
I don’t have children plural. I have one
child, a daughter and her husband and their two (2) children,
with whom I have a great personal loving relationship
Now, you seek to enlist your daughter’s
school principal in your crazy campaign of vilification and
your absurd notion that your daughter suffers from some unknown
emotional disorder called PAS. I trust that the principal,
as a dedicated public professional, will decline to get further
involved with the likes of someone like you.
FATHER, may I suggest that we leave the principal
out of the loop on our legal rhetoric and spare her any further
correspondence. I am sure that she is too busy pursuing her
chosen profession than to deal with the virulent, vindictive,
vituperative and inflammatory prose that you choose to spread
throughout the legal, business and professional community.
Incidentally for your information your daughter
has told me that she loves the man she knew as her father,
and not the raging tyrant that her father has now become.
She would like to have a rapport with the reasonable, loving,
caring father she once knew, not the dictatorial psychopath
he appears to have become. Why don’t you make it possible?
Very truly yours,
Spouse’s Divorce Attorney
Now there are a few important things about
this latest letter from this attorney to this father that
need to be addressed. First of all you will note that he refers
to some comments the father had said about his being involved
in the “adult” press industry. There were suspicions
all over town about this attorney being in the porn business,
but no one could come up with the goods on him. What this
father didn’t know and what the people in the town didn’t
know was that at the time he was writing all of these letters
to this father and to others for the past year, he had already
been convicted of selling and distributing child and adult
pornography and was out on bail awaiting sentencing. He had
also been convicted of lying and perjury as well.
Secondly, this man never reported his conviction
to the State Bar, which he was legally required to do, so
no one knew that he was a convicted felon. Therefore, he just
went along his merry way illegally practicing law as if nothing
happened, and abusing and brainwashing this man’s daughter
against him for over a year and a half under the watchful
eye and close supervision of the local Family Court. This
gives you some real good insight on just what kind of a person
this man was and how right this father had been about him
all along, as well as how bad the court and all the psychologists
had been in handling this severe PAS case during this time.
Anyway because no one knew anything about this
man’s pornography and perjury convictions until he was
finally sent to prison about nine months later, the PAS abuse
of this father’s daughter continued on unabated by this
attorney and his client without missing a beat. This abuse
and the letter writing finally culminated right before he
was hauled off to jail about seven months later when his last
and final letter was sent to this father. This was his swan-song
letter having to do with a request the father had made to
his daughter that she visit with her very ill and dying grandmother
before she passed away. It also made mention of the father’s
upcoming TV show he was invited to appear on about what he
had learned about PAS. This rather cruel, vulgar and disgusting
letter said the following:
Your communication under cover of March 8th
addressed to those who are in a position to advise and counsel
your daughter has been referred to this writer for review
and reply. I have communicated with your daughter concerning
your request for her to contact and see your mother WHO YOU
CLAIM ONLY HAS A FEW MORE WEEKS TO LIVE.
There are two (2) additional negating factors
engendered by you which your 15 year old daughter mightily
resents and is accordingly resistant to any suggestion made
by you for her to visit your mother.
First your daughter resents your erroneous assumption
which finds it’s way into every communication emanating
from you in which you state “. . . most of you know
the circumstances of my daughter’s severe emotional
parental abuse . . . her behavior toward her grandmother is
not in her best long term interests . . . this kind of emotional
parental child abuse can have severe and long lasting psychological
effects upon a child and this is but just one example of those
many things in life where this abuse will greatly contribute
to her dysfunctional psychopathology in years to come.”
My client wishes me to reiterate that the only
“emotional parental abuse” that her daughter has
sustained comes from you and your conduct and not from any
brainwashing by her. Your daughter had hoped that over the
past several years you would have gotten some insight into
the severe emotional problems that you have and are experiencing
and that she could again have the rapport that once existed
as between you.
Your daughter also wanted me to convey to you
her extreme displeasure and embarrassment at the fact that
you will soon be on national T.V. I would suspect that if
the T.V. program runs next week as expected, that she will
probably refuse to see you or your mother even if you do seek
remedial psychotherapy for your emotional problems.
In just three (3) short years your daughter
will be 18 years of age and as such will no longer be subject
to anything you have to say regarding child custody and visitation.
In her opinion you are foolishly squandering your parental
rights and relationship with her by your imprudent and obsessive
crusade for the promulgation of the gospel of something entitled
the “Parental Alienation Syndrome.”
If your daughter chooses to visit your mother,
it will be in spite of you and not because of you. She will
await the airing of the T.V. show and your performance thereon
before making any decision regarding visitation with your
Thank you for the opportunity to convey to you
your daughter’s response to your communication of March
Spouse’s Divorce Attorney
Well there you have it. A complete case example
of a PAS “parentectomy” as one prominent and well-known
PAS experienced psychologist calls it. First you saw the birth
of this father’s child’s PAS starting with this
convicted felon attorney’s first letter to the father
to clean up his house and restock his refrigerator, while
asking that he never see his daughter again until he gets
psychological help.....And then you saw all the rest of his
PAS brainwashing and abuse letters culminating with the last
letter speaking on behalf of his daughter that she will most
probably not visit with her dying grandmother before she dies.....which,
incidentally, she did pass away just six days later.... and
true to her PAS induced words and behavior this 15 year old
child, who once adored her grandmother more than anything
in this world, never did see her, and never once since then
has ever even acknowledged her grandmother’s passing,
or that she ever even existed on this earth. The cancer that
this attorney and his client infected her with was just too
great for her to overcome.
One final thing about all this. For all his
efforts in emotionally abusing and torturing this young child
for almost three years, and driving her away from a father
that loved and adored her, this convicted felon divorce attorney
collected over $50,000 in attorney fees from his client and
had asked the court for the father to pay him another $35,000,
which the father never did saying to the court that he would
rather die in the gas chamber then pay this criminal child
abuser one red cent.
And what was the final outcome of this case?
Well this case started out in the summer of 1991 in what should
have been a simple and uncontentious divorce case with a child
and a father who had loved and adored each other for all of
the previous 12 years since she was born in 1979. Now it is
almost the summer of 2001, ten years later, and because of
this convicted perjurer and child pornographer, posing an
attorney and trusted officer of the court, and his vindictive
and abusing client, the child’s mother, this once loving
and adoring father and his daughter have not seen or spoken
one word to each other in all these ten years.
And people, believe it or not, after seeing
a case like this want to tell me that our Family Court system
is not corrupt, evil, immoral and incompetent to the point
that it allows criminal child abusing convicted felons, like
the one I have just shown you, to practice law in their courts
and abuse and exploit innocent young children whenever they
feel like it so that these children have no further relationship
with one of their once loved and adored parents, as was done
in this case.... and that PAS is something that simply doesn’t
exist, and therefore should never be given any credence to
it by the Courts whatsoever.
To all those who would say this to me,
I would say back to them that they must also think that the
world is flat and if you stray too far offshore you will fall
off the planet into a bottomless hole of delusional darkness,
where, I am sad to say, you are living right now.
A LIST OF PERILS TO WATCH OUT FOR WHEN DEALING WITH COURT
APPOINTED PSYCHOLOGISTS IN PAS CASES
You can be sure that when you have a severe PAS case with
your child or children on your hands in a contested divorce
and child custody situation in Family Court, you will always
have to face the perils of a Court appointed psychologist.
I say perils because that is exactly what these people bring
to the table in these instances. As a general rule, most of
them know absolutely nothing about Parental Alienation or
PAS and so you must deal with these people at your own peril
and your children’s peril. I’m sorry to say this
but it is absolutely true, and in most cases very unfortunate
for you and your children. Here are some of the things you
have to watch out for with these people and then I will tell
you what you have to do to avoid all these perils.
PERILS OF USING COURT APPOINTED PSYCHOLOGISTS
1. Their lack of knowledge and experience with
Parental Alienation and PAS.
If you yourself have discovered information
about PAS on your own, then when you encounter one of these
Court appointed psychologists, you will know 100 times more
about PAS than they do. That’s right, almost none of
these people will have the slightest clue about what you are
talking about when you try and describe to them all the symptoms
you have discovered in your children that match perfectly
those symptoms found in PAS infected children.
2. Their built in biases and prejudices against
strong and authoritative people.
If you are a no nonsense person, and a parent
who feels that raising and educating your children is your
job and responsibility, and not anyone else’s, and you
get angry when someone tries to stick their nose in your family
business where it doesn’t belong, then you will be personally
attacked and crucified by these people....and if you dare
to criticize them at any point along the way of their so-called
“evaluation of you as a parent, then you can all but
kiss your kids good-bye for good.
3. Their avarice and greed.
You must understand that these people are in
business to make money, and with only a few exceptions money
is the name of the game with them. First you will have to
cough up usually a minimum of $1,000 before you even get to
see one of these people, and from there the bills can go as
high as $10,000 or $20,000 or more depending on where you
finally draw the line as to just how much you want to pay
them for doing virtually nothing to help either you or your
children in your PAS case. Couple this refusing to pay them
any more money with getting angry at them for their prejudices
and incompetence and you will really incur their hostility
4. Their complete immunity from any civil litigation
or criminal prosecution for medical malpractice or negligence.
You should know that every one of these Court
appointed psychologists are completely immune from any civil
medical malpractice or professional negligence claims or any
criminal prosecution you may want to bring against them, as
they are 100% protected against such claims and actions by
the very Court that assigned them to you in the first place.
In short they have a license to do as much harm and damage
to you and your children they can, and if such damage destroys
you life and your children’s lives, that’s just
too bad, as they are not held liable or accountable for anything.
5. Their absolute power over you, your family
and your children and their inability to help you with any
reconciliation or reunification with your PAS infected children.
One of the most important things you need to
know and watch out for with these people is that they are
the one’s that will determine your children’s
future and not you or the Court. They are the people who have
all the power in our Family Courts today and not, as so many
people wrongly believe, the Judge who presides over your case.
This becomes extremely important for you to know if you have
a PAS case on your hands because now not only do you have
a blind Judge you will have to deal with, you also have one
or more of these blind psychologists leading all the blind
judges, or as they say “the blind leading the blind”.
This, of course is a formula for complete and
utter disaster and the permanent loss of your children to
PAS forever, which I can assure you from personal experience
will occur if you don’t heed this warning. Furthermore
you can also be assured that these people have no real interest
in or ability to help you effect any kind of a reconciliation
with your PAS abused children. If you don’t believe
me then read what one of these so-called Ph.D Psychologist
“evaluator experts” did in my case ten years ago.
In two separate letters, one to me and one to the Judge on
my case, this woman said the following having to do with my
14 year old severely infected PAS child and what was supposed
to be her Court ordered duty and responsibility to effect
a reconciliation between my daughter and I as soon as possible....
January 4, 1993
Dear Judge Taylor:
I have met with Lee-Ann Kirkendale who will
be 14 years old on February 12, 1993. Lee-Ann remains solid
in her decision to completely cut off her ties with her father.
She insists she wishes to have nothing further to do with
him presently or in the future. *See note (1) She further
expresses radical means by which she will thwart any attempt
made toward visitation, *See note (2), even if that visitation
is supervised by me in my office, which would take place after
working with and preparing her father for such visitation.
Thus while I feel that this is an unfortunate situation I
do not feel I can accomplish the task of reconciliation at
this time. I would suggest a review of this situation in a
year. *See note (3) If you need any further clarification,
please let me know. I will be happy to confer with you.
Patricia Marizacola, Ph.D.
(1) You will notice that there is no mention
at all as to "WHY" my 14 year old daughter remained
solid in her decision to cut off her ties with her father
and wanted nothing further to do with him now or in the future.
Did that mean never again in her entire life?
(2) You will also notice that there are no specific
details as to "WHAT" radical means my daughter would
use to thwart any visitation with her father. Why was that
not mentioned or explored?
(3) In light of the fact that this psychologist
felt she could do nothing currently to accomplish the task
of any reconciliation between the child and her father, what
made her think she could be more successful in a year? A year
in which the child would become even more abused and brainwashed
by her mother without any contact with her father, than she
Now here is the letter she wrote to me dated
the same date.
January 4, 1993
Dear Mr. Kirkendale:
After working with Lee-Ann in therapy on December
18, 1992, I find that there appears to be no hope for reconciliation
between you and her in the near future. Lee-Ann is very definite
and adamant that she has no desire to attempt reconciliation,
nor would she consider supervised visits with you in my office.
We discussed the ramifications of this decision and how she
might be sorry in the future, but it did not impact her decision.
(See note (1) Therefore I am writing a letter to the Court
stating that I cannot accomplish this task.
Patricia Marizacola Ph.D.
(1) Who is in charge here? A supposedly well
qualified Ph.D. trained and experienced psychologist... OR....
a severely brainwashed, abused and emotionally tortured 14
year old child, who gives absolutely no reasons for her obviously
mentally disturbed behavior and her supposed "hatred"
of her own father? Does anyone see any medical negligence
and malpractice here?
I should point out that it is now some TEN YEARS
later and there has yet to be any reconciliation or contact
between myself and my daughter because of all her severe PAS
abuse she endured ten years ago.
6 Their steadfast refusal to give you any written
documentation about their professional education background,
experience, training or knowledge about PAS.
You will find that only in rare instances will
any of these people be willing to give you any kind of written
documentation, or resume if you will, of their professional
credentials to perform the task they were assigned by the
Court to do, which is to “evaluate” you as a parent.
When they refuse to do this it should be a red flag warning
to you not to proceed with their so-called “evaluation”
under any circumstances. This is especially true when they
refuse to give you any information about their knowledge,
training and experience with PAS cases.
7. Their cavalier indifference to PAS delaying
tactics by abusing parents.
One of the most common problems with these
people and their lack of knowledge and experience with PAS,
is their complete indifference and cavalier attitude about
all the delaying tactics employed by PAS abusing parents.
This is a tactic that is widely used by these parents for
the simple reason it helps them keep their PAS abused children
isolated and away from the “target” parent for
as long as possible so that they can freely go about alienating
their children from them without any interference or meaningful
challenge to what they’re doing. The longer they can
delay meeting with one of these so-called Court appointed
“evaluators”, the longer they believe they can
fill up their children’s minds with poison about the
“target” parent to cement the PAS process. The
problem is that because these so-called “evaluators”
don’t know anything about PAS they go along with these
delaying tactics and play right into the hands of these abusing
parents and make any kind of reconciliation with the “target”
parent virtually impossible.
8. Their keeping their so-called “evaluation”
reports secret from you.
What happens when one of these so-called “evaluation”
reports are completed by these people is that they are never
shown to you before they are given to the Court and entered
into the record, and then acted upon by the Judge. Not only
that but when you get to court these people are not there
so you have no chance at all of challenging what they say
about you or cross examining them about their report. What
usually happens in PAS cases is that you first find out what’s
in these reports after the Judge removes your children from
you because the report says “they hate you and never
want to see you again”....or even worse that until you
“straighten yourself out” your children have the
right to veto any visitation with you.
9. Their insufferable arrogance they have toward
you once you criticize and attack them for their incompetence
and the harm they have brought to you and your children.
Believe me once you and your children have
been had by these people, and you go on the offensive against
them, they will accuse you of everything from being a lunatic
to a dangerous threat to society. These are people who do
not take criticism very well at all. The only way they feel
they can defend themselves is by calling you names and casting
dispersions on your sanity and character. They will call you
everything in the book and especially an angry and abusive
person, which to them is their way of justifying all the bad
things they said about you in their report. In my case ten
years ago one of these quacks said after he wrote his report
which gave my 14 year old daughter veto power over any visitation
with me, that I needed immediate therapy for all my anger
management problems. Of course, he forgot to mention that
at the time he said this I was suing him for medical malpractice
and gross negligence...a suit that I soon learned I would
lose because his lawyer very successfully argued that he had
complete immunity from any civil litigation for liability
claims and damages. As I said before these people have license
to destroy everything they touch without any fear of punishment,
liability or accountability. What do they say about this kind
of absolute power? Something like it corrupts absolutely I
believe, and nowhere is that more the case than with these
so-called Court appointed “evaluators”.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO AVOID THESE PERILS
Okay now that you’ve told me what all these perils are
with these Court appointed psychologists what can a parent
faced with these perils do when a Court appoints one of these
people to look into and evaluate my PAS case? What say do
I have in any of this?
Well to answer that I’d like to first
remind you of my Three Blind Mice story. Just as your lawyer
and the Judge in your case both need to be 100% up to speed
on PAS, so too does any Court appointed psychologist assigned
to your case. Remember blindness by anyone about PAS will
all but destroy your relationship with your PAS infected child
forever, so you have to do everything in your power to see
that this PAS blindness is kept at an absolute minimum in
your case....and I don't care who is telling you that you
have to settle for this kind of blindness.
I have already pointed out to you that you
have a choice in the Judge who hears and decides on your case
if you find out about them and challenge them at the beginning.
If you don’t do this in the beginning, then you may
lose this right to demand a new Judge who has a better attitude
about your case and knows as much as you and other experienced
PAS professionals do about PAS.
With Court appointed psychologists, however,
you always have this right, whether you make up your mind
about them in the beginning or at anytime along the way. The
best way to handle this, of course, is in the very beginning
of your case when the Judge wants to appoint one of them to
evaluate your case. This is the time, just like with your
Judge when you gave he or she your Family Court Questionnaire
to complete for you, when you stand up and say... “Whoa
Judge, slow down a little bit here. This is the future of
my child we’re talking about and the future of our relationship
together, so I want to know a lot more about who it is you’re
appointing here than I do now. Therefore I want whoever you’re
appointing, or the list of people you feel comfortable appointing,
to complete my own COURT APPOINTED PSYCHOLOGIST QUESTIONNAIRE,
before I agree to let them handle my case.
Now if your Judge is one who completed your
Family Court Judge Questionnaire to your satisfaction, then
he or she should have no problem with this request. If, on
the other hand, you are at the beginning of your case and
your Judge either refused to complete your questionnaire or
you weren’t 100% satisfied with his or her answers,
or you are too far along with your case to change your Judge,
then you most assuredly will have a problem with this request.
The way you handle this problem will be strictly
up to you, however, I must give you this strong warning. If
you handle it like most of the parents I talk to when they
did nothing, you will regret it for the rest of your life.
You simply cannot combat and overcome a severe PAS case by
doing nothing with these people. You must, at the very least,
insist that any psychologist who is asked by the Court or
you or anyone else to look into and evaluate your PAS case
must fully complete the following COURT APPOINTED PSYCHOLOGIST
QUESTIONNAIRE. If not you will forever be at their mercy,
and from my experience with them they have no mercy.
Remember what I said. You do not have to accept
one of these people the Court will try and shove down your
throat. You have the absolute right as a parent to choose
someone you want and that you have confidence in to help you
and your children with your PAS problem. Additionally, you
should use all the information contained in this book to educate
yourself and others about PAS and document all your child’s
PAS behavior and your alienating ex-spouse’s behavior
to show to the psychologist you choose to handle your case
after he or she has completed this questionnaire to your satisfaction.
COURT APPOINTED PSYCHOLOGIST QUESTIONNAIRE YOU
NEED TO USE IN PAS CASES
1. Will you provide me with a complete resume
and/or curriculum vitae of all your past education, training
and experience in handling severe PAS cases? Yes____No____
NOTE: At this point if the psychologist will
not provide you with this information, then you should get
up and politely leave explaining that you will not be needing
his or her services any longer. If they say they will gladly
give you this information right away, then you should have
them proceed with answering the next few questions.
2. Do you recognize severe PAS as a form of
parental child abuse that has to be dealt with quickly? Yes____No____
3. Have you read any of Dr. Richard A. Gardner’s
books on PAS, or any other well-known PAS expert psychologist’s
books, writings or studies on PAS? Yes____No____
4. If not will you read all of this material
I have gathered for you on PAS, some of which includes the
writings and studies of many of these PAS experts? Yes____No____
5. Additionally will you read over and study
carefully all of my own notes and information I have put together
on my specific PAS case? Yes____No____
6. If you believe that PAS is a serious form
of child abuse that needs to be dealt with quickly, will you
be able to complete your evaluation and recommendations to
the Court on my case within 30 days from now? Yes___No___
If not then how many days do you think it will take you?____
7. When you finish your evaluation will you
provide me a copy of your report and recommendations for me
to read before you send it in to the Court? Yes___No___
8. If my ex-spouse does not fully cooperate
and keep appointments with you will you place strong emphasis
and weight on that in your report to the Court? Yes___No____
9. What will you do if my ex-spouse skips appointments,
tries to delay your report and doesn’t cooperate with
you as the Court ordered? Will you allow him or her to get
away with this? Yes____No____
THE TYPES OF EVALUATIONS THESE PSYCHOLOGISTS SHOULD BE DOING
IN SEVERE PAS CASES
FROM THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF FORENSIC
PSYCHOLOGY, Volume 16, Number 4, 1998, p. 5-14
MMPI-2 VALIDITY SCALES AND SUSPECTED PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME
Dr. Jeffrey C. Siegel, Ph.D. and Dr. Joseph S. Langford, Ph.D.
Jeffrey C. Siegel, Ph.D. is a forensic and clinical psychologist
in private practice in Dallas, Texas. He is a Fellow of the
American College of Forensic Psychology.
Joseph S. Langford, Ph.D. is a forensic and clinical psychologist
in private practice in Dallas, Texas.
MMPI-2 validity scales of two groups of parents going through
child custody evaluations, parents who engage in parental
alienation syndrome (PAS) behaviors and parents who do not,
were compared. It was hypothesized that PAS parents would
have significantly higher L and K scales and a significantly
lower F scale than parents who do not engage in these behaviors.
The hypothesis was confirmed for K and F scales, indicating
that PAS parents are more likely to complete MMPI-2 questions
in a defensive manner, striving to appear as flawless as possible.
It was concluded that parents who engage in alienating behaviors
are more likely than other parents to use the psychological
defenses of denial and projection, which are associated with
this validity scale pattern. Implications of this finding
regarding possible personality disorders in PAS parents are
Parental alienation syndrome is a term coined by Gardner (1,
2) for the phenomenon in which a child from a broken marriage
becomes alienated from one parent due to the active efforts
of the other parent to sever their relationship. Rand (3)
recently provided an extensive review of the literature relevant
to this phenomenon, broadening the scope to include writing
which described the same or similar Concepts without using
Gardner and others (4, 5) have described numerous behaviors
the alienating parent may engage in to harm the child's relationship
with the other parent, many of which have been described as
"programming" or "brainwashing." For example,
the alienating parent is likely to make accusations about
the other parent in front of the child, describe the other
parent as dangerous or harmful, tell the child that the other
parent does not love him or her, and greatly exaggerate the
other parent's faults (whether real or imagined). More extreme
alienating behaviors include making false accusations of sexual
or physical abuse and programming the child to believe that
the abuse occurred. According to Gardner, the child becomes
aware that the alienating parent wants him or her to hate
the other parent and, out of the need to please the alienating
parent and to avoid abandonment or rejection, the child joins
in the denigration of the other parent.
Such dynamics are very familiar to clinicians who work with
broken families and who perform custody evaluations. As Rand's
review (3) makes clear, an increasing number of theoretical
writings, case studies, and anecdotal accounts related to
this phenomenon have begun to appear in the literature, some
of which use the term PAS (6-8) and others which use different
terminology (4, 5, 9, 10). However, little empirical research
has yet been reported. A number of questions need to be addressed
`For example, how prevalent is this phenomenon? Is it correlated
with certain personality traits or psychological disorders?
What are the short-term and long-term effects on children
who are subjected to it? How does a clinician recognize it?
Can psychological testing help the clinician discern when
it may be present? Opinions have been expressed about many
of these questions by Gardner and others, but they have not
yet been subjected to hypothesis testing. Since the U.S. Supreme
Court's ruling in Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals,
Inc. (11), testimony about PAS is not likely to be found widely
admissible in court without a solid research base.
The present study is an attempt to gain understanding of parents
who engage in alienating tactics through a statistical examination
of their MMPI-2 validity scales. It was reasoned that if any
patterns emerge in the test results of alienating parents,
a better understanding of their behaviors might be gained,
as well as a psychometric tool to help in the identification
of the phenomenon.
In this study, the MMPI-2 profiles of divorcing parents exhibiting
characteristics of parental alienation syndrome were compared
with the standard MMPI-2 normative sample and with the profile
of divorcing parents who do not exhibit characteristics of
the syndrome. The specific hypothesis tested was that parents
who engage in parental alienation would have significantly
higher elevations on the L and K scales and lower elevations
on the F scale than both the standard MMPI-2 normative sample
and a sample of divorcing parents who do not engage in parental
alienation. It was reasoned that persons who try to alienate
their children from the other parent are likely to have a
higher degree of the behaviors associated with high L and
K scores and a low F score, including a wish to be seen as
near flawless, a heavy use of denial defenses (12), a tendency
to be rigid and moralistic, and a low degree of awareness
of the consequences of their own behavior to other people
Siegel (14) has previously found that males and females undergoing
child custody evaluation tend to produce significantly elevated
L and K scores and males produce F scores significantly below
the MMPI-2 normative sample. If the hypothesis of this study
is correct, parental alienators in custody disputes would
be expected to follow that pattern to a greater degree than
parents in custody disputes who do not use alienating tactics.
The subjects for the study were 34 females who completed the
MMPI-2 in the course of child custody evaluations. Thirty
of the subjects were evaluated in the authors' practice, while
four were contributed by another psychologist who frequently
serves as an expert witness for the family courts of Dallas,
Texas. All of the subjects were involved in child custody
litigation and were referred by their attorneys or by the
court for psychological evaluation to assist the court in
determining the best interest of the children.
Classification Into Groups
The MMPI-2 results of all the clients involved in child custody
evaluations in the authors' practice over the last three years
were first removed from the files so that classifications
would be made as "blind" as possible The records
of the evaluations were then reviewed and subjects classified
into a parental alienation syndrome (PAS) group and a non-parental
alienation (non-PAS) group, according to criteria developed
from Gardner's (2) and Turkat's (4) descriptions of alienating
tactics commonly used by parents.
The psychologist who contributed four additional PAS subjects'
records picked them out of her case files using the same criteria.
She did not know the study's hypothesis.
The PAS criteria were as follows:
Personally involved in, or involving others in, malicious
acts against the other parent
Engages in excessive litigation for the purpose of limiting
the other parent's access to their children
Attempts to obstruct regular visitation with the other parent
Obstructs the other parent's participation in the children's
school life and extracurricular activities by lack of notification
or untimely notification
Lying to the children
Lying to others (including, but not limited to, child welfare
and child abuse workers, school personnel, medical and psychological
Violations of law (court orders, enforceable agreed orders
regarding access, etc.)
False allegations of physical, emotional, and/or sexual abuse
(falsehood determined by collateral information from child
protective service agencies, physicians, psychologists, or
other reputable sources)
Sixteen subjects met the criteria for classification as PAS
parents (age range: 30 years old to 45 years old, mean = 38.1
years), while 18 subjects did not and were placed in the non-PAS
subject pool (age range: 27 years old to 44 years old, mean
= 36.9 years).
The MMPI-2 was administered as part of the standard battery
given to each parent in a custody evaluation. Standard MMPI-2
conditions and instructions were employed. Only female subjects
were used in the data analysis due to a limited number of
male subjects available for the statistical comparison. This
limitation is consistent with the previously referenced work
of Gardner (2) and Turkat (4), who report that the majority
of persons exhibiting alienation behaviors are female.
Two tailed t-tests were used to compare parental alienators'
mean scores on the MMPI-2 validity scales to the MMPI-2 normative
sample and the sample of divorcing parents who do not exhibit
The study's hypothesis was confirmed for two of the three
validity scales. Results of the t-tests indicate that mothers
exhibiting PAS behaviors had significantly higher scores on
the K scale and significantly lower scores on the F scale
than both the standard MMPI-2 normative sample and the sample
of divorcing mothers who do not engage in parental alienation.
There was no significant difference in L scale scores between
the alienating and nonalienating groups, although both were
higher than the published normative sample.
This study shows that females who exhibit parental alienation
syndrome behaviors are likely to produce extremely defensive
MMPI-2 profiles. They appear to respond to the MMPI-2 items
in such a way as to appear highly virtuous and without emotional
problems or difficulties.
Research has shown that most parents being evaluated in the
context of custody dispute produce defensive MMPI-2 profiles
(14). The finding that parental alienators answer the test
items even more defensively than other parents in custody
suits may shed light on their personality tendencies and may
be diagnostically useful.
Gardner (2) has written that parents who make false allegations
of child abuse, perhaps the most extreme expression of parental
alienation, are likely to exhibit characteristics of histrionic,
borderline, or paranoid personality disorders. Although they
did not use the term parental alienation, Wakefield and Underwager
(16) found, in a comparison of parents making false allegations
in custody disputes with parents not making such allegations,
that those making false allegations were more likely to have
a diagnosis of a personality disorder, consistent with Gardner's
The findings of this study lend further empirical support
to Gardner's belief that PAS may be associated with certain
personality disorders and their associated patterns of psychological
defense. A highly defensive MMPI-2 validity scale pattern,
as was found among PAS parents, suggests psychological defenses
which are typically used by people with the externalizing
personality disorders (histrionic, borderline, narcissistic,
The tendency to see oneself as "all good" (expressed
on the MMPI-2 through high L and K scales and a low F scale)
suggests the use of splitting, projection, and denial. People
with K scales as high as those produced by the parental alienators
in this study are generally described as psychologically unsophisticated,
as using denial heavily, and employing defensive distortions
In the context of a divorce and custody dispute, a person
who produces a profile like those in this study would appear
to be denying any personal responsibility for the divorce
or family problems, seeing themselves as flawless, presumably
a victim of the ex-spouse. A person with a more mature defensive
structure would be likely to see the matter in more reasonable
terms, having less need to deny any responsibility, and be
better able to modulate their emotions and give less extreme,
more honest answers to the MMPI-2 questions.
Ehrenberg et al. (17) have found that parents with narcissistic
personality disturbances were less likely than other parents
to cooperate with the ex-spouse after the divorce and to be
able to focus on their children's needs. It may be that parents
who exhibit parental alienation syndrome are unable to cope
with their personal hurt and disappointment about the dissolution
of the marriage through a more mature grieving process and
finding new ego supports.
It is likely that they cope with their hurt and anger by villainizing
the ex-spouse and, perhaps unwittingly, by enlisting their
children to help repair their damaged sense of self by having
the children join in the splitting and projection of responsibility
onto the other parent. Johnston (18) has written that parents
who are narcissistically vulnerable are more likely to use
the more immature defenses of denial and externalization.
The results of this study suggest that these defensive operations
are likely to be evidenced in the MMPI-2 validity scales.
In child custody related psychological evaluations, the clinician
should use multiple sources of data to arrive at conclusions
(19). When parental alienation syndrome is a diagnostic possibility
in mothers, a highly elevated K scale with a depressed F scale
may be evidence of the defensive distortions, which are associated
with the syndrome. This MMPI-2 pattern may alert the clinician
to the possible presence of the syndrome, which should be
further evaluated through interviews, observations, examination
of collateral sources, and other test data. An examination
of the MMPI-2 profiles of fathers who exhibit parental alienation
tendencies is needed to determine whether they show the same
1. Gardner RA: The Parental Alienation Syndrome and the Differentiation
between Fabricated and Genuine Child Sexual Abuse. Creskill,
NJ, Creative Therapeutics, 1987
2. Gardner RA: The Parental Alienation Syndrome: A Guide for
Mental Health and Legal Professionals. Creskill, NJ, Creative
3. Rand DC: The spectrum of parental alienation syndrome (part
1). American Journal of Forensic Psychology 1997; 15:3:3-52
4. Turkat D: Child visitation interference in divorce. Clinical
Psychology Review 1994; 14:8:737-742
5. Clavar SS, Rivlin BV: Children Held Hostage: Dealing with
Programmed and Brainwashed Children. Chicago, American Bar
6. Cartwright GF: Expanding the parameters of parental alienation
syndrome. American Journal of Family Therapy 1993; 21:3:205-215
7. 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
8. Lund M: A therapist's view of parental alienation syndrome.
Family and Conciliation Courts Review 1995; 33:3:308-316
9. Blush GJ, Ross KL: Investigation and case management issues
and strategies. Issues in Child Abuse Accusations 1990; 2:3:152-160
10. Johnston JR, Campbell LE: Impasses of Divorce: The Dynamics
and Resolution of Family Conflict. New York, The Free Press,
11. Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 113 S. Ct.
12. Greene RL: The MMPI-2/MMPI: An Interpretive Manual. Boston,
Allyn and Bacon, 1991
13. Graham JR: MMPI-2: Assessing Personality and Psychopathology.
New York, Oxford University Press, 1993
14. Siegel JC: Traditional MMPI-2 validity indicators and
initial presentation in custody evaluations. American Journal
of Forensic Psychology 1996; 14:3:55-63
15. Butcher J, Dahlstrom G, Graham J, Tellegen A, Kaemmer
B: MMPI-2: Manual for Administration and Scoring. Minneapolis,
University of Minnesota Press, 1989; 105-106
16. 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
17. Ehrenberg ME, Hunter MA, Elterman ME: Shared parenting
agreements after marital separation: the roles of empathy
and narcissism. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology
18. 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
19. Guidelines for Child Custody Evaluations in Divorce Proceedings.
American Psychologist 1994; 49:7:677-680
THE KATHY SANDERSON STORY
This is a tribute to the memory of Kathy Sanderson,
a wonderful mother from Helena, Montana, who died tragically
as the result of an automobile accident on October 3, 2000.
She left two young sons behind with whom she has been struggling
to overcome their PAS. One week before their mother died,
the boys told her that they hated her and never wanted to
see her again. Sadly, they got their wish.
I never met Kathy Sanderson in person. She contacted me and
we corresponded by e-mail in early 2000. In February of 2001,
I received a telephone call from her mother informing me of
her death. I was truly shocked and saddened by this news,
especially under the sad and tragic circumstances involving
her two young children at the time of her death.
Through our correspondence, I came to know this
wonderful, young mother and share her concerns and fears for
her children. I am including it in this book to demonstrate
how truly tragic PAS can be. Sadly, these children will never
know how much their mother loved them or how she struggled
to build a relationship with them. Her time is past and her
hopes are gone. For the rest of their lives, her children
will only remember the bad times because there is no more
time to create new, happy memories.
The following is a collection of our correspondence.
You will be able to see the thoughts of A mother in deep pain.
She had suffered at the hands of her former husband who actively
turned her children against her and a family court system
that stood by silently and allowed it to happen.
Please pay particular attention to Kathy’s
last e-mail. Six months after this, she was dead.
From: Kathy Sanderson
To: Bill Kirkendale
I am unsure whom I am writing to, but would
like to tell my story and perhaps obtain some information
about parental alienation.
Subj: Re: PAS
From: Bill Kirkendale
To: Kathy Sanderson
Here is who you are writing to and I would very
much like to hear your story.
Here is some brief Information about me.
William Kirkendale is a highly successful California
Insurance executive who has spent the last eight years trying
to reform our present Family Court system. He is the founder
and president of The Family Court reform Council of America
(FCRC) and The Parental Alienation Syndrome Foundation of
From: Kathy Sanderson
To: Bill Kirkendale
Dear Mr. Kirkendale:
Thank you for your response. This is a difficult
letter to write only because of the intense emotions involved.
I will attempt to make this brief.
I was a stay at home mother for 12 years. I
was divorced 3 years ago, and my children remained fairly
stable. My ex remarried a year ago, and then life as I knew
it fell apart. My son's, 13 and 9, began to slowly pull away
from me. I couldn't comprehend what was happening. I will
merely summarize the current situation:
Two children, who once adored me, are now claiming
false physical child abuse charges against me. They will not
speak to me, nor will they speak to their grandparents, uncles,
cousins, or ANYONE who is connected with me. They seem to
have "lost" their memory of the closeness we have
always shared. They speak to me as if they were strangers,
with dialogues and phrases I've never heard from them before.
They are ungrateful of anything I do for them. They throw
out the presents I give them, speak to me disrespectfully,
and defy any attempt I make to discipline them. They always
threaten to "call dad" if I don't do what they want.
Their father will never speak to me, nor will he abide by
any court orders. He feels as if he is above the law.
I need information. The attorneys, evaluators,
and guardians are more of a hindrance than they are a help.
As much as I am devastated, my children's loss will be multiplied
and irreparable. Currently, I am meeting with my attorney
and the guardian to discuss this. I don't know what to do
next. I would appreciate any input available.
Subj: Re: "PAS"-Reply
From: Bill Kirkendale
To: Kathy Sanderson
Yours is a classic PAS case and must be dealt
Have both your attorney and the guardian (by
the way why do the children have a guardian) call me to discuss
your case. If you rely on them to know what's going on you
might just as well kiss your kids goodbye. I am the expert
here. They are not. They can call me during the week at area
code 949-766-0700 (California). If they say they won't do
this then fire them both immediately
and find an attorney or a guardian who will call on an expert
to help you and your children get rid of this PAS abuse once
and for all.
Subj: reply to PAS
From: Kathy Sanderson
To: Bill Kirkendale
Thank you so much for responding. My children
have a guardian who was appointed by the court because of
the custody dispute. I will give them your phone number. I
will try to explain this situation to them...AGAIN! Instinctively,
I knew what was going on and I know that my ex will never
admit to it...perhaps he just is incapable of understanding...or
rather of "getting it". Again, thank you so much
for responding. This is a very high profile case, and I will
present them with your information. If you have any more advice,
please pass it on to me. Thank you, Kathy
Subj: Re: "PAS"-Reply #2
From: Bill Kirkendale
To: Kathy Sanderson
ALL of what you tell me is CLASSIC PAS in your
children and a CLASSIC ATTITUDE of an alienating parent. The
only thing that troubles me with your case are the false physical
child abuse charges against you. Are these charges also being
made against other members of your family who the children
want nothing to do with either? If so then there is much more
I need to know about the nature of these charges. If not then
I still would like to know more about these charges so I can
fit them in somewhere as to what they are doing to you and
why they hate and resent and disrespect you so much.
All these things are interrelated in one way
or another. Perhaps these abuse charges are the key to what's
going on and perhaps not. You have to look at the big picture
to really get the answer on this. Once you figure out that
PAS is involved (which it seems as if it definitely is in
your case), you then have to find out what the main issues
are that no one ever bothers to find out. Normally you have
in a PAS inculcated child someone who will say they hate their
mother or father and all their relatives BUT can never provide
a good reason why, or if they do have a reason it is always
either frivolous or completely absurd.
This then is why I want to try to get to the
bottom of all these so-called "physical abuse" charges
being leveled at you and where they may have come from. If
I am to give you good advice and help on this PAS problem
please let me hear back from you on this as soon as you can.
Subj: RE: "PAS" #2
From: Kathy Sanderson
To: Bill Kirkendale
Dear Mr. Kirkendale,
Obviously I can see why the physical abuse charges
are disturbing to you.
They are disturbing to me. However, this is what my son has
claimed twice in the past year. Once, he didn't want to go
in time out...then called his dad and said I smacked him on
the face. I did not. The second time was similar. I told him
to go to his room. He said he didn't have to obey me, "only
dad" and wanted to call him. I told him I would call
his dad. He grabbed the phone out of my hand, called his dad...his
dad then called the police...and later I discovered my son
said I kicked him. Again, I did not.
I do understand when there are cases of legitimate physical
abuse, the child may react fearful or they may be protective
of the abuser. Maybe you need to know that my ex left us twice
and moved to other states for jobs he wanted. He arranged
this without my knowledge or input. Hence, the divorce. When
he came back, my eldest son seemed to want to please him at
all costs. It seems that he is fearful of his father's rejection...not
fearful of me. I am the one that was always there. I am the
one my son KNEW would always be there in every way a person
could be for another.
I am getting off track now, but there is a lot
of information to process. The only way for my ex to legally
have custody of my children was to make some very bizarre
accusations. In other words, he NEEDED to prove I was unfit.
This is how he did it. I cannot tell you I have never made
a parenting mistake. That would not be true. I can say with
complete honesty that I have never physically or emotionally
abused my children or anyone. I am a very nonviolent person.
It's not in my nature. I do the cowardly thing and cry when
things hurt. I rarely feel anger, but I do feel hurt. I have
been told that is anger directed toward myself. My son was
angry at my parents for some reasons I do not understand.
They called him as usual to say "hi." They are old
and ill. My son verbally attacked them on the phone.
Later, in therapy, my son said he hated his
once beloved grandmother because she told him to honor his
father and his mother. I was put in the position of defending
my mother for a statement that was positive and correct.
Overall, my son has been claiming he is afraid
of me. The last time I saw him I did bring my fiancé
on the advice of my ex. I personally wanted him there to protect
me against any further false charges. Basically, the evening
went well...hockey game, dinner, etc. My son wanted us to
buy him those Pokemon cards. I told him no. I explained that
the game, the dinner, and the time spent together was what
was important. Two days later, I get another call from my
ex's therapist saying my son was again afraid of me that night.
This is so ridiculous that I am having difficulty explaining
this. I will just end this by saying that I have never hit
my children. I am certain
I have made some mistakes. I allowed this to go too far. Now
I am in a box that I cannot seem to get out of...and the kids
are suffering the most. They are no longer happy. They pretend
to be...but it is only a facade.
Subj: Re: "PAS" #2..#3
From: Bill Kirkendale
To: Kathy Sanderson
This is good information I need to know. I want
to respond to each of these things individually so you can
collectively see the classic nature of your children's severe
PAS condition and what you need to do to stop it cold in its
tracks immediately. You can then take this with you when you
see your attorney or the guardian or who you and your children
really need to see, a qualified PAS therapist. Okay here goes.
I will be marking my comments with a #### at the beginning
and at the end.
Obviously I can see why the physical abuse charges
are disturbing to you. They are disturbing to me. However,
this is what my son has claimed twice in the past year. Once,
he didn't want to go in time out...then called his dad and
said I smacked him on the face. I did not. The second time
was similar. I told him to go to his room. He said he didn't
have to obey me, "only dad" and wanted to call him.
I told him I would call his dad. He grabbed the phone out
of my hand, called his dad...his dad then called the police...and
later I discovered my son said I kicked him. Again, I did
#### First of all these charges are not disturbing
to me because I never thought they were true in the first
place...they are disturbing to me only because I now know
that they fall into the very easily identifiable category
of the worst kind of PAS abuse by an alienating parent there
is. In the most sick, offensive and damaging case scenario
for a child these manufactured charges are usually false "sex
abuse charges", and in the less offensive case scenario's
they are exactly what you describe. In both case scenarios,
however, they are extremely important signs of a child's PAS
emotional abuse at the hands of the alienating and abusive
parent when in fact these charges are patently false.
What your former husband is now doing to both
your children is having its desired effect on them. It is
causing them to completely disrespect you as a parent and
out of fear of their father (not you) they are acting out
what they believe their father wants them to do and act out
towards you. This is where the PAS child starts to take on
what Dr. Gardner calls, "their self contributions"
to this PAS type behavior of hatred and denigration of the
alienated parent. In other words the child has now gotten
onto complete lockstep with the alienating parent and joins
in with them in what can only be described as an unjustified
"Puppet like" display of hatred and disrespect towards
the alienated parent.
THIS IS CLASSIC PAS BEHAVIOR...and don't let
anyone try and tell you different. The focus here should NEVER
be on false charges that cannot be proven or have no concrete
evidence to support....the focus MUST ALWAYS be on WHY the
PAS inculcated child has chosen to act and behave this way
when there is absolutely no concrete evidence or proof of
all their false abuse charges.
This is a classic trap that the alienating parent
wants you and the Court and everyone else to fall into. Focus
on the charges and not on the reason they are being levied
or that the charges have no evidence or proof to support them.
When this begins to happen to you, you MUST never allow it
to continue along this path, EVER. This is very IMPORTANT
for you to remember in dealing with this problem. To show
you just how IMPORTANT this is, the words, behavior and disrespect
for you as a parent that you described to me above by your
son are IDENTICAL to the words, behavior and disrespect of
my 12 year old daughter towards me eight years ago. IDENTICAL...NO
DIFFERENCE WHATSOEVER ####
I do understand when there are cases of legitimate
physical abuse, the child may react fearful or they may be
protective of the abuser. Maybe you need to know that my ex
left us twice and moved to other states for jobs he wanted.
#### In these cases of legitimate abuse there
are entirely different forces at work. First there is some
good evidence and proof in these kinds of legitimate abuse
cases. Second a child under these circumstances always manifests
their fear of the abuser in ways that are unmistakable. Then,
as for your comments about your parenting skills and your
attempts to convince me and I guess others that you are not
an abusive person and that you are basically only a coward
who cries out when you are in pain and that you are non-violent
by nature let me say this to you. On the parenting skills
comment, let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Show
me a parent who says they have not made some minor mistakes
as a parent in life and I'll show you a person who can't seem
to tell the truth about anything (otherwise known as a pathological
Now on all your other comments about yourself
and what I see as another trap you have fallen into over this
PAS matter. First you are attacked as a bad parent, then a
violent person, then an abuser, and then an angry person directing
anger toward yourself. Boy what a load to carry wouldn't you
So what is your first instinct and reaction when you are attacked
this way unjustly? To defend yourself, right? Well this is
exactly what all those who are attacking you want and expect
you to do. They want to be on the offensive and put you on
the defensive. A classic trick that works all the time....UNLESS
you are wise to their tricks and don't fall into their trap.
So I'll give you a piece of advice. From now
on in don't even dignify their attacks on you by a response.
Instead ignore them completely and begin to attack them back
so as to put them on the defensive. Tell them that they are
the bad parents in all this; that they are the bullies and
abusers who have caused all these problems with you and your
children; that they are the violent one's in causing your
children to fear and disrespect their mother; that they are
the one's who have stolen and kidnapped your children in the
past against your will and without your knowledge; that they
are the one's who should be directing all their anger toward
themselves because of all the pain they have caused to so
many people and your children; and finally that they are the
one's and not you who have chosen to use your children for
their own selfish purposes and who have lied continuously
to achieve all their selfish goals. And when you say "they"
in all this you mean your ex husband, the Court, the lawyers,
the shrinks, the guardians and anyone else who has not come
forth immediately to your defense and the defense of your
innocent abused children in all this PAS child abuse they
have encountered and
My son was angry at my parents for some reasons
I do not understand. They called him as usual to say "hi."
They are old and ill. My son verbally attacked them on the
phone. Later, in therapy, my son said he hated his once beloved
grandmother because she told him to honor his father and his
mother. I was put in the position of defending my mother for
a statement that was positive and correct.
#### See what I wrote above on all this and
take this one little story into account about your son's attitude
toward his once beloved and adored and now ill grandmother.
My daughter's paternal grandmother who she also once loved
and adored lay sick and dying only a few blocks from where
my daughter lived with advanced Alzheimer's disease for two
years without her once ever going over to see her. Finally
when she died my daughter didn't even send a card or attend
her funeral and to this day some six years later has never
even acknowledged her death or the fact that she even lived
here on this earth. Now what does that tell you about how
disgustingly evil and reprehensible PAS child abuse is on
Overall, my son has been claiming he is afraid
of me. The last time I saw him I did bring my fiancé
on the advice of my ex. I personally wanted him there to protect
me against any further false charges. Basically, the evening
went well...hockey game, dinner, etc. My son wanted us to
buy him those Pokemon cards. I told him no. I explained that
the game, the dinner, and the time spent together was what
Two days later, I get another call from my ex's
therapist saying my son was again afraid of me that night.
This is so ridiculous that I am having difficulty explaining
this. I will just end this by saying that I have never hit
my children. I am certain I have made some mistakes. I allowed
this to go too far. Now I am in a box that I cannot seem to
get out of...and the kids are suffering the most. They are
no longer happy. They pretend to be...but it is only a facade.
#### Once again you are trying to defend yourself
when you don't have to. You also should have no difficulty
explaining all this anymore after getting in touch with me
so let's now get on with how you can get out of this box and
save your children. I think I have given you enough initial
ammunition to get the ball rolling here. What I want you to
do now is start using this ammunition and changing your way
of always trying to defend yourself when you should be going
after and attacking those who have done all these terrible
things to harm your children. You are not the culprit here.
"They" are, and you know who "they" include...so
let's get busy to save your kids, what do you say?####
Subj: An interesting and compelling recent Appeals Court opinion
From: Bill Kirkendale
To: Kathy Sanderson
I’m sending an interesting ruling and
comment from a recent appeals court custody/false sex abuse
case in Utah.... I find no difference in these false child
sex abuse charge cases than other type of false child abuse
charge cases, except that false sex abuse charges are usually
more effective in PAS cases than other type false charges
are in permanently destroying a child's former loving relationship
with the target parent..Either way any of these kinds of false
charges levied against an innocent parent are without a doubt
what these Judges call..."a form of severe child abuse".....
Period...end of story....undebatable...without question....indefensible...and
unconscionable for any parent to ever do to an innocent child.
Here is what the Utah Appeals
Court said about this....
“The court found that a parent willing
to subject his minor child to repeated physical examinations
for child sexual abuse and repeated ‘therapy’
sessions for sex abuse which never occurred is practicing
a form of severe child abuse. The court also found that Mr.
Peterson, by repeatedly coaching his daughter to make false
reports of sexual abuse and repeatedly coaching her to denounce
her mother, is abusing a child psychologically by causing
her to have ill feelings about her mother.”
Subj: Re: PAS" #2..#3
From: Kathy Sanderson
To: Bill Kirkendale
Dear Mr. Kirkendale:
My family and I have read your previous e-mail.
We were all SPEECHLESS. You have so accurately and definitively
described my situation. More importantly, you have given me
the information needed to begin the attempt to change this
I want you to know that I have hired a new attorney.
My previous attorney settled this out of court, leaving me
with nothing. The previous evaluator, who never saw the PAS,
has been eliminated. I do have a new therapist involved who
will be working with the bias therapist my former husband
is taking my children to see. There are two therapists involved
because my former husband would not agree to any therapist
other than the one his attorney recommended. This way, at
least my therapist and his will confer, and my input will
be of more significance. The GAL remains the same. I do see
a problem here. She has inaccurately based her decisions on
my former husband's and my children's testimony. She has continually
met with them in person throughout the past few years, while
only meeting with me briefly once.
Because of your information, I have contacted
her and she FINALLY is agreeing to meet with me and my new
attorney. I will be presenting all of the information you
have provided, and will go from there.
Personally, I can't thank you enough. I will
no longer be on the defensive. You were so RIGHT. I fell into
that trap completely and without knowing it. I will be contacting
you as things evolve. This "mess" is making sense
to me now. You have given me the information needed to actively
pursue this with CONFIDENCE. I will never give up. Thank you
From: Kathy Sanderson
To: Bill Kirkendale
Dear Mr. Kirkendale:
I am sorry to bombard you with e-mails, but
I do have a few more questions.
Since my children will not willingly even speak to me on the
phone, should I cease contact with them completely until some
professional help is involved? Also, should I allow my former
husband's attorney to be aware of the
PAS...rather, should I allow her to know I am aware of the
PAS? Please give me your advice on this. Thank you so much.
Subj: Re: -Reply
From: Bill Kirkendale
To: Kathy Sanderson
You are not bombarding me and I am always glad
to try and answer your questions if I can.
On your first question about whether or not
you should press any communication with your children who
refuses to speak to you I will tell you this was always a
highly debatable question with me that I'm still not sure
to this day that I did the right thing about. On the one hand
I wanted to speak to my daughter to try and drum some sense
into her head, while on the other hand I really didn't know
quite how to go about it.
So what I did was to try and take a middle ground
approach that in hindsight I probably should have done something
different. I attempted to speak to her through letters I sent
to her via the various principals of her schools. This proved
to be completely ineffective and I suppose from her point
if view nothing more than pressing for some contact that she
had absolutely no interest in having with me.
What I should have done is now at the very heart
of your question to me and here is what my 20/20 hindsight
advice would be that I should have done. What I forgot was
one simple thing which was that she and your two sons were
and still are our children that we have a responsibility to.
Therefore, if we as their parents want to speak with them
we should merely make whatever arrangements we can to do just
that...speak to them whether they want to speak with us or
What happened to me and what is happening to
you is that because we are in the position we are in as target
parents of a severely PAS inculcated child we seem to think
that we can't speak to our own children...and so we don't.
That is just flat out wrong and frankly we don't need some
shrink to assist us to speak to our children as we can do
that very nicely without their help, or as we see in most
cases with these shrinks, their ignorance and incompetent
interference which, of course, is no help at all.
Having said all this then my advice to you is
to demand that you have an opportunity to speak to your boys
as soon as possible and if necessary use your visitation court
order to do so, if you have one. If you don't have one then
I would advise you to get one immediately using the obvious
PAS inculcation in them as your basis for getting one pronto.
This then leads me to your next question about
your husband's attorney and whether you should make her aware
of what you know about PAS and that it is your firm belief
that your boys are now victims of severe PAS abuse by her
client. Again with the benefit of hindsight by all means I
would make her aware of this (everything you can find on PAS
with a minimum of 100 pages) and at the same time tell her
that you are not about to stand for this abuse of your sons
for one more minute....and that you demand that her client
turn your children over to you to have some time with to show
them how much you love them and to counter all this PAS abuse
they have been subjected to by her client.
Now if this attorney runs true to form she will
fight you on this tooth and nail which will then tell you
that if you don't already have a visitation order in place
that you need to get one in a hurry. If you do have a visitation
order in place then you must demand of her and her client
that he adhere to this order and if he doesn't you will be
filing contempt charges against him immediately as well as
asking the Court to make a change in physical custody of your
children to you. That will get their juices flowing I can
While nothing I can tell you in the way of advice
is guaranteed to work in these PAS cases, I do know from my
own experience what doesn't work...and what doesn't work is
to keep silent about what is going on here with your boys.
The more noise you make and the more you press to see and
speak with them the better chance you have of turning this
whole mess around. Remember what I say on my web site about
my DO's & DON'Ts. Do get aggressive and don't sit by and
let the tail (your kids) wag the dog (you) because if you
do then all will be lost.
I hope I've helped you here and if you have
any more questions please don't hesitate to contact me. I'm
never too busy to help out a parent who is facing the same
PAS horror story as I went through.
From: Kathy Sanderson
To: Bill Kirkendale
Dear Mr. Kirkendale:
You're not only "a man who cares,"
but you are a man who makes a difference. I have faxed your
e-mails to my attorney. That information stirred him up quite
a bit. That's a good thing. I am continuing to call my sons,
but that situation will take time to change. I look back at
how close we were, and now they are such strangers to me.
I will never understand how a parent can do that to their
children. Do these abusers KNOW what they are doing, or are
they so obsessed with foolish revenge and EGO that they start
believing their own lies? I would like to ask you a personal
question...if that's okay. How did you deal with the emotional
devastation of losing contact with your daughter? My pain
is so intense and overwhelming. Does it ever get easier?
This is effecting every aspect of my life. Mr. Kirkendale,
why don't any of these so-called professionals "see"
any of this PAS abuse? It's not like trying to find a needle
in a haystack...it is so very obvious.
I am afraid we will never know how Kathy's case
would have turned out or if her children could have been saved.
I do, however, want the world to remember that this woman
went to the grave fighting for her children and they will
never know or understand that fight because their father has
brainwashed them to the extent that they no longer care to
A LOOK AT SOME E-MAILS FROM OTHER PAS AFFECTED PARENTS
Every year I get about 4,000 letters and e-mails
from people all over the country, and even the world, about
their PAS problems. These are usually all very similar and
all have a lot of pain and urgency about them. So that you
can see in your own struggles with PAS with your children
that you are not alone I wanted to share a few of these with
you. I have deleted names to protect the privacy of those
who have written me.
What you see here is a sad commentary on our
Society and our Family Court system in America today having
to do with children of divorce. You will notice that about
half of these e-mails are from fathers and half from mothers,
which is the norm with all PAS cases today. You will also
see an e-mail from a now adult child of PAS who tells a story
every PAS parent should take note of.
And finally what would the world be without a PAS story from
Russia, which I have included. I really want people who have
a PAS problem on their hands to see that they are not alone
by any means. When this happened to me ten years ago I thought
I was the only person in the world who had the problem I was
having with my daughter, and even worse I didn’t know
what it was or that it even had a name. So please see for
yourself that you are indeed not alone in your pain.
To: firstname.lastname@example.org ('email@example.com')
My husband's ex is alienating his children from
him and me their new stepmother. The children are even afraid
to hug us or say hi at a basketball game or other activity
where "she" is watching.
the children said they are afraid of what she is saying about
She returns letters we send to the kids and
the children told us they are afraid to call my husband for
fear of getting in trouble.
My husband has done nothing illegal not to see
the kids, nor do the divorce papers site any limits to visitation.
--they list visitation is to be encouraged and mutual love
and sharing of children is also encouraged. Thus the problems
began. We do not have a mid week listed but we were getting
one for two years and then they stopped. Kids are too busy,
have a party to go to, have to get a hair cut etc etc.
The children are afraid to express any overt
signs of love or affection with me or my husband near his
My stepson says he is afraid of what his mother
says about us. My stepson told us he was told his mother might
get into a car wreck and she would miss him soo bad just before
the kids came for a week of vacation with us. My stepson cried
for two days that his mother might get killed and he would
never see her again.
Both children are afraid to call during the
week. both have said they would get in trouble if they picked
up the phone to call us.
Last sunday the ex put flowers on the altar
and listed in the bulletin credits from Mary, John, Sue doe
and used the stepfathers last name for my stepson's last name.
She returned valentines cards sent to the children.
A stepmom of a 14yr old and a 10yr old.
To: firstname.lastname@example.org ('email@example.com')
Mr. William Kirkendale:
Thank God I found your web site! When I read
"Why do PAS Parent Alienation Parents Act Like They Do?"
I was reading about my ex as if I wrote it myself. I realized
later that my ex fits the description of a sociopath. I have
been telling the Family Court System for years that he is
manipulative, and an abuser. They have done nothing. My ex
is brainwashing our 5 year old son to hate me, to call me
by my first name (he is not allowed to call me mommy at his
house or my son fears punishment), he has to call his new
wife mommy or else. I have to have the assistance of the police
to see my son, as his father does not follow the court order
for holidays or any other day. My son has also been brainwashed
not to tell me anything about how he feels or what happens
to him at his dad's home. I am also concerned because my ex
was sexually abused by his brother for years. I am afraid
for my son. Please, Mr. Kirkendale, I need your help before
it is too
late. What can I do to protect my son? Family Court is not
Please contact me by phone or e-mail.
This is SH in Louisville, KY. It has been awhile since we
have communicated. The situation has continued to get worse.
First my ex-husband and his wife started with my 11 year old
son and now they are infecting my 9 year old daughter. I need
help. I would like to find a child therapist in Louisville
who is well read on PAS. Can you help? I know you said you
were close friends with the M’s. Thank you.
Subj: PAS, another case!
I received your name from DS. She & her
husband have been very grateful for the help you have given
them. It is so encouraging to know that there is actually
a group of people who are aware of what some parents do to
keep their children away from the other parent.
My son, "L" has not seen his children
age 3 and 5 for 13 months. (Neither have I nor anyone else
in our family been allowed to see them.)
Yesterday he met with the GAL and the judge
and his Xwife to work out a visitation plan. Can you believe
that they said he shouldn't see the children at all because
they are concerned that he might tell the children it is their
fault that they haven't been able to see Daddy and that could
damage them emotionally.
This mess is not the children's fault. It never
occurred to us that it was. This is just another stalling,
controlling plot. Anyway, this whole thing is full of outrageous
garbage. It is to go to trial on Feb. 13.
My question is: Do you know if it is possible
to get an attorney that is interested in PAS who will help
someone who has already spent everything on lawyers and gotten
We have some good stuff to present in court.
To me, (not being an attorney!) It seems like it would be
easy to prove that this is a case that is so beyond belief
that people think we are telling lies when we try to explain.
I will give you one example:
"L" was arrested for supposed violation
of a restraining order. The X's lawyer submitted a statement
stating that the preschool teacher said "L" had
come to the preschool and talked to his son. She didn't say
that. "L" didn't go to the school and didn't talk
to his son. Yet, he was arrested on that and we spent thousands
of dollars on this before the case was dropped.
We are in desperate need of a lawyer that isn't
bought off and will just present the info we have.
God bless you for the work you do.
Subj: IN NEED OF HELP
Dear Mr. Kirkendale,
I'm writing this letter on behalf of my Boyfriend.
His soon to be ex is severely brainwashing and alienating
his 3 daughters against him. their ages are 11 yr and twins
that are 3yrs. we have been reading everything on PAS that
we can find, and it fits this woman to a Tee!!!!!! One would
swear the study was done on her!!! The problem is, we can't
seem to get his attorney, the courts, or even children services
to do anything about it!!! is there any assistance you can
give us to help these children or him in his court case. Where
we can site cases where fathers have gotten custody of the
children. please respond ASAP. we are in desperate need of
help for these kids!
Subj: HELP !!!!
I am in the same situation with my daughter
as Mr. Kirkendale is with his daughter. It is hard for me
to believe what my daughter’s mother has done to all
of us, but I'll be damned if I can find ANYONE from within
the system to acknowledge it and deal with it.
Normally, I would agree that it is probably
not a good idea, but I am representing myself in a parental
alienation case. I have come to realize that I am not going
to win on these issues, whether I hire an attorney or not.
Essentially, the case has been so protracted, and has become
so complicated, that it would be impossible to bring a new
attorney up to speed.
I am, therefore, looking to find a source to
answer some legal questions as they come up. I’ve been
unable to find someone in Rochester as they are, apparently,
either prejudiced by the circumstances, or intimidated by
the internal pressures of the profession.
I fully expect to pay for the information I
need, I just need to be sure that the source is reliable.
Please let me know if someone comes to mind.
Subj: Help - In Dire Need of Assistance
I am a mother of two beautiful children and
the divorce from their father was final May 1, 2000 although
the entire process began in September 1999. Since my separation
from my ex-husband, he has taken the children and has turned
them against me completely. Children who once loved me dearly,
hugged and kissed me regularly, now will have nothing to do
with me. My ex-husband was convicted of drug trafficking and
cultivation of marijuana back in 1991 or 1992 and yet was
still able to gain custody of my children (I have no criminal
I have taken him back to court over the denial
of visitation and the magistrate stated to my ex and the children
that there is a court order and that the children do not have
a choice but to visit. I have seen my children only one time
in over a year. I took my ex back to court on December 8 in
hopes that the judge would find him in contempt of a court
order and even though I gave her volumes of information on
PAS and how he has defied the court order...she stated that
I did not show the burden of proof for contempt of court.
I am at a loss as to what to do in this case. I gave the magistrate
and the children's counselors the information I obtained from
the websites and yet no one will pay any attention to my situation.
I am afraid if my ex is allowed to continue in the manner
he has chosen, my children will be lost to me forever. I love
them very much and only want what is best for them. Please
Subj: Major PAS!!
Dear Mr. Kirkendale,
I've just been briefly reading over the material
on PAS (which I was not aware my situation had an established
name) and I could not believe what I was seeing!! This is
my situation exactly!!! My ex-husband and I have been divorced
for over 5 years now. He adopted my daughter, who is now almost
13, about a year or so after we were married. He is not her
biological father. We also have a son together who is 9. I
have custody of both children and the father has full visitation
as ordered by the court. We never really had any problems
to speak of up until about 8 months ago. At this time my ex
got involved with a woman who has nine children of her own.
I'm told they plan to get married early next
year. He has had girlfriends in the past and there were never
any problems between us as far as being able to communicate
about the children. Since his involvement with his new girlfriend
it just seems like all hell has broke loose. To make it brief,
everything that I'm reading about PAS is happening to me and
my children since then. My daughter is completely turned against
all of us here. She is very mean and abusive to her brother.
None of us can talk to her about anything!!! She is so cold
My ex has been constantly harassing me during
this time, trying to accuse me of child abuse, he even has
my daughter going along with it all!!! I'm am at the end of
my rope!!! I finally decided to start taking the children
I would appreciate your help and advice in this
I am very interested in your project. I did
not realize that there is a name for what my daughter has,
and boy does she ever have PAS. You describe her perfectly.
It's eight years now since I, or anyone else in my family,
have seen her. She is 21 years old today, and graduating Yale
with straight A's. Naturally the problem is all mine and she
refuses to see a counselor.
Her brother, now 18, visits me faithfully and
we are on very good terms even though he had exactly the same
Any ideas what to do? I think maybe I should
talk to a counselor who specializes in this sort of thing.
Thanks very much.
New York, NY 10013
tel Subj: William Kirkendale(please read)
I am looking for Mr.Kirkendale, If you or if someone may know
how to reach or contact Mr.Kirkendale I would appreciate it.
I just read his letter in regard to his daughter that is missing.
Hopefully he has found her since 1997. I would like to contact
him to find out a little more on the topic of PAS. Because
I am a child who had to deal with PAS from my mother and I
a step daughter who is dealing with PAS by her mother. As
Mr.Kirkendale stated, "it is real, and it happens, and
it hurts, not only the fathers, but the children as well."
I am living proof that it does hurt and time doesn't always
Thank you and please if you know or know someone
that can forward this to Mr.kirkendale I would appreciate
a return response from him and or someone who knows of this
Thank you for your time and patience
Subj: my feelings
From: CM (In reply to my request to tell me her story)
I am not sure if this is what you want but this
is my true feelings and private feelings no one knows these
things on how I felt and how I still to this day feel in regards
as to PAS. Maybe I was a child of PAS and maybe I wasn't but
either way what happened to me is what is happening to millions
of kids today.
I am one child who lost their childhood in the
hands of adults that I so dearly loved. I had no control over
my life and had no way to express my feelings without being
in trouble. I was cheated while others won. I was made to
believe things that were untrue, however now as an adult how
will I ever know what is true. I should have been able to
be a little princess in my fathers' eyes waiting to go and
have ice cream.
That never happened all I got was feelings of
betrayal while watching other little girls devour the love
of their father. I hoped and prayed that he would come rescue
me but he never did he stayed away like I was told he wanted
to do. I would be in plays, cheerleading in hopes that when
I looked into the crowd I would see someone who looked like
me, but I never saw. From the time I was two till thirteen
I kept on having faith that he would come despite my hateful
words that I was forced to say. I thought that he would know
I didn't mean what was being said or done but he didn't. I
then became angry because he should have known I loved him
no matter what but he proved them all correct by not appearing
and giving me what I as a child deserved.
My made up feelings as a child became real ones
as an adult. I learned how to hate at the drop of a hat. I
learned how to not love because it can be done. I learned
how to make people say and do things I want them to by twisting
words or things they would say around. I learned how to make
people believe a lie. I made him believe I hated him that
wasn't fair to me. I made him believe I didn't want to see
him and that wasn't fair to me. I as an adult believed for
a long time that I caused him to stay away but I also as an
adult became very angry at him because he should have kept
searching for me. I tried for several years to locate to find
just so I could slap him and tell him how much I hated him
for not being there on those occasions when a father should
have been there.
I wanted to humiliate him and hurt him and make
him pay for all the suffering I had to suffer as a child.
I wanted to see tears in his eyes for me and at my expense
because I had shed so many all through my life. I wanted an
apology from him for not calling sending a letter and ect...
but when I turned 29 and we finally found him I couldn't call.
it took me 3 weeks to get the nerve up to even dial the number.
When I only had one thing to say and one word and that was
"WHY" he tried to talk but all I could say was why.
After a few phone calls, we had finally met after 20 (and
in between age two and nine I only saw him once) years of
not ever seeing his face or hearing his voice I had to meet
the man who I thought left me and didn't love me. Who I thought
hated me as much as I hated him. My thought of seeing him
only brought joy to me because now was my chance to slap him
in the face and see tears of pain streak down his face as
they had streaked down my for 27 years night after night.
When my plane landed I couldn't get off the
plane, they had to force me off and as soon as I saw a man
standing there knowing he had open arms and wanting a hug
I only shook his hand and told him " you don't deserve
a hug I don't know you and until I know you all you get is
a handshake" he still never shed a tear. he tried to
explain his actions but I wouldn't listen, it only escalated
into a argument of he should have been with me. He then wanted
my children to call him grampa and I let him know that he
had to earn that right it just doesn't come natural anymore.
I was so full of hate towards him I wanted to literally hurt
him I tried to think of ways with my brother but nothing seemed
to pan. Every word that came out of my father's mouth to me
was a lie no matter if it were the truth or not. My mother
again became upset and even as an adult reminded me of every
event that he wasn't there for and everything he should have
done but didn't do. She even went as far as to make up situations
that were untrue just to put doubt in my mind about him again
not that I didn't have enough. The sad part is it worked.
When I turned 30 and after knowing him approx 1 year I decided
to move from my mother and try with my father.
My mother became very upset with me and even
quit speaking to me for quite sometime but with her not speaking
I was able to talk and to work out problems with my father
it took me 4 years before I could even call him dad. He has
proven now that he is here and if he says he will do something
he makes sure he does it. It was a long hard road for both
of us but we hurled it but we had to get certain people out
of the picture until we were able to make amends. I however
will still never be that princess
I should have been but I can honestly say I
am now DADDIES GIRL. I have been able to forgive and so has
he we have put all this behind us and go towards the future.
Although my father has admitted to me that he feels like he
is walking on thin ice, afraid I will hate him again but I
can honestly say the hate that I had for him for so many years
was a program that I have gotten rid of and I love him now
with all my heart and I now cherish each and every moment
we have together.
I am sending you this so you will have some
idea as to what my feelings are. And just for an update to
all this I have spoken with my mother and told her of this
PAS thing and believe it or not I received an apology from
her with her telling me she was sorry and that she made bad
choices. She told me she knew what she had done has been wrong
and she can't take them back but she can apologize for them
in which she has done. I want to keep in contact with you
because I intend on trying to help others from this happening.
I also think you might have misunderstood my last email. I
don't think you will belittle anyone at all. What I was saying
was what is in my diary is very belittling to me. Anyway keep
me in touch and let me know what I can do to help keep this
from happening to other children. It doesn't make a person
feel good when they hurt so much..
Subj: Contempt of Court Order
To: firstname.lastname@example.org ('email@example.com')
I have just served my ex-husband a contempt
of court order in violation of our legal joint custody agreement
in the state of NJ. He has physical custody of our two children,
ages 18 and 14 and he has successfully alienated them from
me. Within the last 7 years of our children being in
his custody I have not once seen them for Christmas, never
received a gift, card or phone call from them on holidays.
Even though I have visitation rights, last year
my son and daughter decided that they didn't want to see me
This Monday, I have the court date to fight
my ex on this topic and to prove that he and his wife are
to blame for my children's indifference towards me.
What will be the outcome if he is proven negligent
since my daughter turned 19 November 26, I presume that I
have no rights over her. What can I achieve from this hearing?
Subj: RE: Contempt of Court Order-REPLY
From: RS (again)
Thank you very much for responding to my request
Unfortunately, as you stated and from the story
you sent me, my daughter M is very bright also, attends an
affluent Prep school in New Jersey and to everyone but me,
she is cordial, respectful and a delight to be around. I've
gotten notes from her teachers that say she is one of the
students they've encountered and a wonderful child.
Unbeknownst to them, she does not want to know her mother.
She has also professed to me that her stepmother is now regarded
by her has her real mother.
As counselors have tried to convince me, I guess
I need to wait this lifetime out and maybe with some ray of
hope, she as well as my son will return to me someday.
I am seeking any current/recent litigation
regarding parental alienation of affection. Regarding attorney
negligence (failing to submit ANY motion for visitation),
also regarding any remedies that do not include custody transfer.
Writing this to obtain information for a friend, his
children are now 19, 17, and 15. They have been so "brainwashed",
they only curse him when he attempts to contact them. The
judge did state in the divorce decree, that the mother had
intentionally interfered in the father's relationship with
his children. Can you help? Thank you for your time.
Subj: Family Court: The discriminating reason for so many
disturbed children in today's society.
To whom it may concern,
I am sure you have heard plenty of cases about
abuse of discretion. My case is one of such happening. In
short I was divorced in May of 1996 and was in agreement to
having the children 60% of the time on paper. I am the father.
The mother decided not to have anything to do with the children
so through court and with a court appointed guardian ad litem
I retained custody
of the children for 3 1/2 years.
I remarried and had 2 more children. One day
out of the blue my ex-wife filed for full custody. In a hearing
that lasted only 1 hour and 45 minutes. I was stripped of
my two children I raised for 3 1/2 years without her based
on the decision and statement by the judge "she is the
Along the way her attorney has filed many, many false statements
that I have had to take to court to ask that they be stricken
from the record. The Judge has done so, but will not do anything
to stop the attorney. The attorney himself has admitted he
lied to the judge. Along with his
overstated and false child support worksheet he filed. This
took 8 months to correct and put my family in a tremendous
finical bind. Not to mention the mother was $3000 behind in
child support. The judge laughed and said "this is typical
of a recently divorced mother". However we had been divorced
for almost 4 years at the time of the hearing.
I have requested many times to take the opposing
attorney to court to ask for my legal fees to be paid, for
the slander and malpractice he has done. However I can not
find any one who is willing to get another attorney in trouble.
The Judge himself in the ruling against me didn't even use
of the facts in the hearing to make his ruling. He hides behind
his statement of " she is the mother". I have the
transcript to prove this. It is to my understanding there
is a Supreme Court disciplinary Council that will review matters
such as mine. However I can not get any assistance in this
It is very apparent of the discriminating nature
of the courts in the matter of children from divorced parents.
This has caused a great deal of stress and frustration to
myself and my children.
I would like some references on these matters. I am trying
to obtain equal visitations for my children. I have been reduced
to being an every other weekend dad after raising them for
3 1/2 years with out their mother. They are very disturbed
over what the court system has done to them. They had to move
out on a Sunday night without any notice with only 4 weeks
school left and never even got to say goodbye to the friends
they grew up with.
I live in Anytown, Ohio. I am requesting some information
as to where I can go with this. Will someone please help me!
I read the introductory to this web site and feel that there
is someone out there that might actually care. Is there?
Subj: Happy Holidays
Happy Holidays...I hope this finds you well.
I am sure that the weather there is better than it is here.
We have gotten some snow and are expecting more this week.
I tried to visit with my kids on Friday but to no avail. They
were hostile and nasty and practically threw me out of the
house. I was hoping that the Christmas spirit would be present,
but I was wrong. They told me that they had no intentions
of visiting with me this Christmas or ever again and told
me to leave. My ex told them that the only reason that I wanted
them was for the money. I told them that their father was
the one with custody and that I was the one paying support
so how is it that I am the one that wants money?
This is now the second Christmas that I have
spent away from my kids and it is very painful. I wish that
there was something that I could do to change it, but there
isn't. The court appointed the guardian ad litem again, but
going to him I'm afraid will be a waste of time and I don't
even know why he is involved....all I want is to see my kids
without interference. But at least I am not alone this Christmas...I
have my mom here and I am involved with a wonderful man and
he has 2 girls. It was fun watching kids open presents again.
Again, I hope you are having a wonderful holiday
season and I truly appreciate your assistance.
Thank you for taking the time to speak with
me this morning. The fact that there is someone else out there
that understands what I am going through is comforting and
a great source of hope. I am desperately concerned about my
two sons, ages 5 and 9, and the effects their father's behavior
will have on them as they mature. Their father is completely
self centered, a convicted batterer and stalker. He currently
has joint legal custody AND visitation. He encourages the
boys to spy, to keep secrets, to disobey my rules for them,
to ignore teachers, lie to counselors, misbehave, destroy
my property, and make my life miserable. His relentless brainwashing,
lack of concern for their emotional and psychological well-being,
lack of self-control, and disregard for rules, the judge or
authority is terrifying. I need some help.
I will be returning to court in late January,
early February, to ask for full custody and need as much information
as possible, and as many resources to deal with the aftermath,
as are available to me. I need direction, counseling and experts
regarding this syndrome. I refuse to believe that the boys
are a lost cause. I know they can be loved and helped to a
"normal" future, but not without help for all of
Thank you for your time.
Dear Mr. Kirkendale:
I just wanted to let you know that my husband
experienced the X's attempts at parental alienation at the
beginning of their divorce and a few years thereafter.
My husband and I would not let up and we refused
to have any contact with the X whatsoever when we realized
what she was doing. Instead, we had direct contact with teachers,
coaches and day care workers.
I think non-custodial parents forget that teachers
and day care workers can't prohibit a non-custodial parent
from visiting or participating in school/day care functions
(unless they are a threat to society, etc.)
Most dads would give up. They need to be persistent
without annoying the teachers and staff. They need to be persistent
so their children see how much they want to stay involved.
After 8 years, some court appearances (all initiated
by the X, but backfired on her),it has been successful for
us and we have a nice blended family. My stepchild has lived
with his mother this entire time with 30-40 percent visitation
for us) and he has formed his own opinion of her while remaining
close to us.
Just felt like writing an e-mail to you. You
seem like such a nice person and have given such wonderful
supportive advice in regards to the PA situation we are dealing
with my husband's boys.
I am having an extremely difficult day. I have
been trying to stay strong, not let things get to me, etc.
and live my life to the fullest. It is very hard though sometimes.
As for today, I just found out some extremely hurtful and
mean things that my stepson is saying about me......and the
lies!!!! I don't want to sound like some princess or something
but I have always surrounded myself with people who have class.
The people that my husband knows (ex-wife, etc.), do not have
any whatsoever. No wonder his boys are such a mess!!! Anyway,
I am learning to keep things in perspective better but I am
in no way used to this type of behavior or bashing, so to
speak of another human being. Your wife and yourself must
be very strong people to have gone through all of this parent
alienation stuff. As I said earlier, this evening I found
out that my stepson is saying he down right hates me and he
used some choice terms which I do not wish to repeat to describe
The thing that hurts and is so frustrating is
that all of these lies that are going about, I have never
done to these children. I have been extremely good and caring
to these children. This woman has their head so extremely
messed up. The ex-wife has acted up on and off through out
our relationship but as soon as we got married, "all
heck broke loose". In this past year the boys have done
more than a 100 degree turn. Right now I just feel so broken
but I know I will bounce back. I usually do. The hard thing
that I am having difficulty dealing with right now is that
I have been trying not to loose a place in my heart for his
kids. I have been fighting through all this to not let that
happen and after tonight I can honestly that there is no room
I have always been a forgiving person but now
I really could care less if I ever see them again. And if
I do, I won't care or have the energy for a relationship with
them. I will have a hard enough time being mature and civil
when they are in my presence. I feel guilty, in a way, for
feeling this way as these are my husband's children but I
am just plain burnt out. The thing I have trouble understanding
is that these are children who were not very young children
we when began dating. They have the knowledge, foundation
and memory of the things we have done for them. I would think
they could try to maintain some balance between their mom's
home and ours. I did when I was a child going through mild
Maybe, though, the brainwashing has been so
severe that they have completely forgotten about the good
things. I told my husband that I am somewhat concerned about
my safety since his ex-wife and children a so angry and bitter
and blame everything on me for being in my husband's life.
The sheer ignorance is amazing. I hardly ever open my mouth
and I am catching all kinds of stuff. These are children who
used to once follow me around talking my ear off, wanting
to go places with me, wanting me to take them places, etc.
I felt we have a great bond growing. Now it is so bad....I
sometimes wonder how much more I can deal with. My husband
has been feeling the same way. My husband is close the getting
the kids into counseling. I feel this deprogramming could
At any rate, we have not been able to get the
article you wrote in front of the children as every effort
my husband makes to see them is shot down. He has been a little
successful, lately, as he was able to set a date for tomorrow
for dinner with the boys.....we will see if they will stand
him up AGAIN! The children are saying stuff like he cares
more for me than them and that he took their mother to court
to raise the child support and now he wants to see them more.
Pretty ridiculous, huh. I don't know too many fathers who
will take the bio mom to court to raise the child support
that they pay to her...do you??
Well, thanks for listening. I am just feeling
horrible right now.
From: A Mom
I have seen several articles on this and the
alienating parent always seems to be mom. I am currently going
through a custody battle and he is the one displaying all
the criteria for the alienating parent, this includes calling
our child by a different name when she is with him, making
comments like;'I will save you from the bad mommy' and various
other alienating tactics. I have not refused him visits nor
does he miss visits. Why is a PAS perpetrator always assumed
to be the mom?
My little girl is becoming very confused by
his constant put-downs and it will eventually affect her terribly.
What can I do? Believe it or not I am a mom who wants her
daughter to have a relationship with her dad, I grew up without
one and I did not like it.
Subj: info on PAS
As I read you article on PAS it made chills
go down my spine! The symptoms described my ex-wife to the
T! My sons and I have been going to counseling (not anymore
though) for 3 years with no headway being made. When I brought
up alienation by their mother it was quickly dismissed and
it became a taboo subject. I still to this day don't know
why. You article described my situation as if I wrote it.
Is this syndrome new? Does the psych community not know of
it? As I deal with counselors and lawyers its like they are
the experts and I know nothing. I've been through 2 lawyers
(saving monies to change lawyers AGAIN) and one counselor.
I'm in California are there any organizations out this way
that may help?
Subj: Your web site
Just visited your web site. All four of my children
have been alienated from me, and now we are seeing the results
of it all. I haven't seen my daughter for six years now, all
due to alienation. I hope you will keep in mind all of the
people who have lost their children in the past, and who have
fought against a system that just doesn't care. I do not expect
to see my daughter, or have a normal relationship with her
for the rest of my life. Thank you for getting this out for
all to see, as it is without a doubt, one of the most devastating
things to happen to the family in this country.
Subj: Thank you
Thank you for giving what I have been going
through a name. I am sorry for everyone who has to go through
this. I am a mother of an only son, who divorced after 17
years. My son left with me but ended up back with his dad;
I wanted him to have his creature comforts that he was used
to having. After sneaking around behind my ex's back to see
my son, the truth surfaced that my son had been seeing me
and he was thrown out of the house by his father--senior year
high school, age 17.2 years old then.
The long and short of it is that I have neither
seen nor spoken to my son in over 3 years. I am not told about
him. I could fill 10 pages with evidence that he suffers from
PAS. My ex and I had one meeting with Family Services before
the divorce, and the ex was allowed to get away with "I
don't want to talk about it." The Family Services "counselor"
was anxious to get home--4:30 on a Friday afternoon. No one
cared and no one helped, and my son turned 18--"an adult."
And now it appears too late. Visitation and child support
no longer applies. I have been forced to give up...I tried
calling just two weeks ago only to have the phone slammed
in my ear by my son. The anger has lasted too long. When he
was in high school, his school said he needed help--my ex
would not allow it. My son has since been cut off from my
family and any mutual friends we once had. It is like he has
fallen off the face of the earth.
I die a thousand deaths daily...this needs to
Thanks for listening and thanks for your site!
Subj: Re: PAS
From: LN (again months later)
Dear Mr. Kirkendale:
I had written you last November and was re-visiting
your website today in hopes that maybe you had gotten to see
or speak to your daughter since I last checked. I guess I
go there periodically to see if you have made any progress
on that front because (selfishly) I might get some hope if
she were to talk to you. Three years seems like a long time
for me--nine years--I don't know how you have done it. Last
time I tried to communicate with my son he slammed the phone
in my ear. He will be 20 in July, and I have kind of lost
hope. I know you are supposed to keep trying--keep in touch--but
I can't. The wall of the ex and his family is too tall, my
son is an "adult," and it is too late for any court
to help me now. I have tried every means to break through
to the point of jeopardizing my own health, and I can no longer
subject myself to the hatred that now emanates from my son.
We were so close once--I cannot believe that this is the same
kid. I don't know himanymore.
The courts should have done something when there
was the opportunity--before he turned 18!! The school was
willing to come and testify about his needing help--no one
cared or listened. Will they ever??
Mother's Day was horrid this year--worse than Christmas or
Thanksgiving or any other holiday. Will anyone ever care about
our broken hearts?? Is society just going to continue allowing
the creation of kids with no values and tons of animosity?
Thanks for continuing to try!
Subj: Mr. William Kirkendale
To: firstname.lastname@example.org ('email@example.com')
Dear Mr. Kirkendale,
While doing a research project for my employer,
I ran across your letter to John Doe, and the information
on PAS provided in the Family Court website. I was very interested,
and wanted to write you, as I have never heard of this syndrome
The first piece I came to was the description
of how PAS affects a child. The picture you describe so accurately
fits my stepson. I then picked up the description of the parent
responsible, and again, was shocked to see it so accurately
matching my husband's ex-wife.
Their son is 16 years old, and hates his father
to an extreme. I have four grown children of my own, one son,
so I am aware of the tension that often exists between a father
and son, even in a good relationship. As the son grows toward
manhood, the expectations of both father and son are put to
the test. But this boy's hatred of his father, who is such
a kind and charitable person, is so extreme and dramatic -
we both have spent a lot of time trying to figure out why
he feels the way he does.
At one time, when we were able to actually pin
him down, he began reciting incidents of neglect and meanness.
My husband remembered these incidences well, but not because
he had done them - because it was the boy's mother who had
done them, and no mater what he said, his son simply would
not believe that his mother had tried to hurt him that badly.
He insisted it was his father who would never come to school
functions, left him home alone all the time, was mean and
hateful. We were shocked, and terribly upset.
His son lives in another state with his mother.
He is a very, very troubled boy who says he is gay. He is
defensive and angry. Is there anything we can do for him?
We both love him so much, but he has refused to come and see
us. Do you think there is any hope for a child of this age,
or is his relationship with his father really over?
Thank you for your time in reading this, Mr.
Kirkendale. I would appreciate hearing from you.
Subj: Request from Russia
Dear Mr. Kirkendale,
Not going into much details I would like to
tell you that I too am a victim of PAS, as a father who hasn't
seen his child for a year now due to PAS. While the story
is ugly and could well be branded a horror one I am trying
to concentrate on the positive side of it. For me it is the
understanding of what is happening to my child and me.
In the early days of my saga I desperately searched
all sources of information available. To my surprise the problem
is a world wide phenomenon. Yet here in Russia even Internet
has no reference to it AT ALL !!!!
While I am discussing with Douglas Darnell chances
of his book published here (which will definitely take time)
I have decided to invest my personal time and some money into
the creation of a web page in Russian to spread the awareness
about PAS here in this country where my manipulated and actually
deceived son so far leaves (his mother married a German national
and to eliminate me out of the boy's life went as far as trying
to prove in the court that I am not even the biological father
of my 9 year-old son....)
I too want to devote this effort to my son that
eventually may help others in this country to at least be
aware of what may happen and why it happens. While PAS counters
under our children's photos will show different numbers the
detrimental effects on their and our lives are the same.
Do you think I could have your permission to
use the general layout and the introductory article of your
homepage as a base for my page ?
Irrespective of how my projects goes I wish
you personally and your members a fulfillment of your hopes
and best things in life.
A MEDIATION AND INTERVENTION PLAN FOR PAS VICTIMS
Note: The following article was selected as the winning entry
in the 1998 Student Essay Contest of the American Bar Association
Section on Dispute Resolution. The author appreciates the
review and comments made by the following practitioners: Sean
Byrne, John Lande, Ramona Buck, Marcia Abbo, Loree Cook-Daniels,
and Susan H. Shearouse.
The author, Anita Vestal, at the time she wrote this study
on PAS was a doctoral student in dispute resolution at Nova
Southeastern University. She has been recognized by the American
Bar Association and the Association of Broward County Mediators
for essays on the topic of parental alienation and mediation.
She is the principal investigator of the PEACE Project, a
research study on conflict resolution strategies for preschool
children that is funded by the Administration for Children,
Youth, and Families.
FAMILY AND CONCILIATION COURTS REVIEW, Vol. 37, No. 4, October,
1999, p. 487-503
MEDIATION AND PARENTAL ALIENATION SYNDROME
Considerations for an Intervention Model
by Anita Vestal
Parental alienation syndrome (PAS), a term that originated
in the mid-1980s, refers to a disturbance in which children
are preoccupied with viewing one parent as all good and the
other parent as all bad. Conscious or unconscious words and
actions of custodial parents cause the child(ren) to align
with them in rejection of noncustodial parents during divorce
or custody disputes. Issues of concern for mediators include
detection of PAS and an understanding of appropriate remedial
plans that will allow the child to restore his or her relationship
with the noncustodial parent.
An area of growing demand and concern for family mediators
is in the minefields of child custody litigation. With no-fault
divorce, and a standard for determining custody in light of
the child's best interests, judges are besieged with a backlog
of disputed custody cases without clear and concrete guidelines
to follow in deciding whether to favor the mother or the father.
Many experts in family law--from both the legal and mental
health arenas-have observed an increase in deceptive and manipulative
tactics used by divorcing couples. This article looks at parental
alienation syndrome (PAS), which is a complex manifestation
of mental and emotional abuse resulting from conflicted parents
fighting for custody. Recommendations are given for a model
that could be employed by family mediators to ensure that
families suffering from PAS receive prompt and effective intervention.
MEDIATION IN CHILD CUSTODY DISPUTES—
The surge in divorce rates during the past two decades, along
with major judicial reforms since the 1970s, has led to several
significant changes in the ways that courts handle family
law cases. Divorce and custody laws have been widely revised
by states, and alternatives to litigation have emerged and
gained prominence. Mediation has become a popular option,
and in many states, mediation is mandatory for divorcing couples.
Judicial systems in California, Minnesota, and Wisconsin were
early experimenters with the concept of conciliation courts,
where parents were encouraged to work out divorce and custody
conflicts. In the past two decades, many states have introduced
mandatory mediation of contested child custody.
There has been research that supports mediation as a positive
intervention in custody disputes. Studies of custody cases
in several large cities report that over one half (between
50% and 90%) of the cases are settled through mediation (Atkinson
1996). A large empirical evaluation of mediation services
in three court-based programs showed generally high levels
of user satisfaction according to the researchers (Pearson
and Thoennes 1986). Both the Denver Mediation Project of the
early 1980s and a study conducted in Toronto found mediation
to be successful in keeping divorcing families out of court.
The Toronto study compared couples that mediated custody with
those that litigated without mediation; only 10% of mediated
couples returned to the courtroom after 2 years with problems
related to custody or visitation, whereas 26% of the non-mediated
couples were back in court within 2 years (Herman 1990). These
studies of divorcing couples did not focus exclusively on
"highconflict" divorce situations.
Herman (1990) challenges the suitability of mediation in some
custody disputes. He asserts that the assumption that mediation
will deter the bitterness, disappointment, and anger of divorcing
couples and lead them toward cooperation, understanding, and
tolerance has not been documented. "Even a highly skilled
mediator cannot compensate for the sharp differences in sophistication
and power that often exist between divorcing spouses"
(p. 56). The issue of mandatory mediation of child custody
cases has some outspoken critics. Carol Bruch, professor of
family law at the University of California at Davis, publicly
testified before the New York state legislature about her
concerns that children are not best represented in mediation
and women are often at a distinct disadvantage. She observes
that there is no research evidence to support a claim that
children whose parents mediate custody settlements do better
than children of litigating parents. Furthermore, she points
to her own experience with family law attorneys and mediators
to support her assertion that the husband and his views are
accorded more respect than the wife and her views (Herman
These conflicting viewpoints with regard to the pros and cons
of mediation in child custody disputes indicate a need for
PAS AND CUSTODY DISPUTES
he foregoing section reviewed the historical context of mediation
in child custody disputes and some of the research findings,
both pro and con, relative to the suitability of mediation
in custody cases. There are concerns that mediation may not
work to the advantage of everyone concerned in all cases of
contested custody. "In most divorce cases where there
is animosity and conflict between the parents, there is some
degree of brainwashing and programming (of children)"
(Clawar and Rivlin 1991, 9). This brainwashing and programming
may be relatively mild or it may be quite severe. It may be
conscious or unconscious on the part of the parent(s). The
parent's conscious or unconscious disparaging of the separated
spouse often leads to the phenomenon of PAS.
PAS refers to a disturbance in which children are preoccupied
with viewing one parent as all good and the other parent as
all bad. The bad parent is hated and verbally maligned, whereas
the good parent is loved and idealized. Another hallmark of
PAS is the false charging of child abuse, which comes about
when one parent is intent upon driving away the other parent
(Carper, et al. 1995). Cases in which PAS is suspected require
a diagnosis from a mental health expert prior to being referred
Forensic psychologist Dr. Richard Gardner originated the term
PAS in the mid-1980s; however, the phenomenon was described
in an earlier work by Wallerstein and Kelly (1980). They characterize
an "alignment with one parent" that is a "divorce-specific
relationship that occurs when a parent and one or more children
join in a vigourous attack on the other parent" (p. 77).
In parental alienation, one parent who has previously had
a good relationship with the child becomes the object of hate
and degradation by the child due to conscious or unconscious
brainwashing by the other parent. Gardner (1992) claims that
between 80% and 90% of all custody cases exhibit some form
of PAS from mild to moderate to severe symptoms. This claim
has not been supported by research, and many experts in the
field feel it is an exaggeration of the proportions of the
problem. Gardner, however, includes cases that he feels are
relatively mild; these very mild cases will improve as soon
as the custody decision has been made, according to Gardner.
The issue of concern for mediators and court officials is
that they may have difficulty recognizing PAS and could easily
assume the "rejected" parent is indeed a poor parent
and merits the child's rejection when in fact researchers
have shown the opposite is true.
Manifestations of PAS in children consist of eight elements
described by Gardner (1992) Walsh and Bone (1997) refer to
parents as the "alienating parent" and the "target
parent." Another terminology, used by Johnston and Roseby
(1997), is "aligned parent" and "rejected parent."
Typically, the aligned parent has an agenda for turning the
child against the other parent. The motive may include revenge,
guilt, fear of loss of the child or loss of the role of primary
parent, or the desire to have control or ownership over the
child. The aligned parent may be jealous of the other parent,
or desire to obtain leverage in the divorce settlement relative
to property distribution, child support, or alimony. It may
be that the aligned parent suffers from a past history of
abandonment, alienation, physical or sexual abuse, or even
loss of identity (Walsh and Bone 1997). These motives lead
him or her to program the child to deny love for, or even
deny the existence of, the target parent.
Johnston and Roseby (1997) offer a more sympathetic portrayal,
describing the aligned parent as one who feels rejected, sad,
and afraid of being alone as a result of an unwanted divorce.
"Consequently these vulnerable people can become acutely
or chronically distressed . . . and turn to their children
for nurturance and companionship, as allies against the world
and salve for their wounded self-esteem" (p. 198). He
or she may project all the blame onto the divorcing spouse
and view him or her as an incompetent parent. These parents
feel self-righteous and compelled to protect their children
from the other parent.
The rejected parent becomes the victim of false allegations
and may feel frustrated and bewildered over the changes in
the childs's behavior. Although the allegations are grossly
distorted, perhaps to the point of being obviously fabricated,
nevertheless the child and the aligned parent appear to deeply
believe them (Walsh and Bone 1997). Most PAS researchers have
described the rejected parents as passive victims of the other
parents' vengeful rage; Johnston and Roseby (1997) depart
from this view and characterize rejected parents as "often
rather inept and unempathic with their youngsters" (p.
199). Based on their observations, the rejected parent may
contribute to the continued alienation by a combination of
counter-hostility and dogged pursuit of the child with telephone
calls, letters, and appearances at the child's activities.
The argument that a rejected parent should not pursue the
relationship may be in contradiction to conclusions made by
Clawar and Rivlin (1991) in their 12-year study of 700 PAS
cases. They concluded that it may prolong the alienation if
a rejected parent loses contact. The longer there is little
or no contact between a parent and a child, the more difficult
the impact will be to overcome.
In their study of 16 PAS cases, Dunne and Hedrick (1994) found
that PAS does not necessarily signify dysfunction in either
the rejected parent or in the relationship between the child
and rejected parent. Instead, they argue that PAS appears
to be attributable to the pathology of the aligned parent
and the unhealthy relationship between the aligned parent
and the child. All of the aligned parents in their study experienced
intense feelings of dysphoria, which were blamed on the former
spouse; in addition, the aligned parents predominantly experienced
intense narcissistic injuries. Clawar and Rivlin (1991) determined
that brainwashing and programming are intensified the more
the rejected parent succeeds in life after the separation
(financial success, new and happy relationships, etc.).
The child is the most seriously affected victim of PAS. In
her study of self-concept of children of divorce, Stoner-Moskowitz
(1998) concluded that when the relationship with the rejected
parent is abruptly halted, the child's emotional development
is stunted. The aligned parent's programming creates confusion
in the child as a result of internalizing distorted beliefs
and perceptions. In an extensive longitudinal study, 40% of
the children developed self-hatred and guilt because they
were used as an ally in the war against the rejected parent
(Clawar and Rivlin 1991). Often, the family has been torn
by extremely divergent parenting styles and perhaps a history
of parental conflict. Beneath their anger and challenging
behavior is a pathetic longing for the rejected parent. "The
children want to be rescued from their intolerable dilemma"
(Johnston and Roseby 1997, 199).
ISSUES IN MEDIATOR QUALIFICATIONS FOR PAS CASES
When these types of cases are referred to mandatory court
mediation, the scenarios can be quite difficult for a mediator
to sort out. The child and aligned parent will appear to have
a very close and loving bond, whereas the other parent (unknowingly)
is accused of a long list of horrifying behaviors, which often
includes quite credible, although fabricated and false, accusations
of child abuse (Gardner 1992).
There are several issues of mediator competence that need
to be examined. First, the question of detection of PAS presents
itself as a dilemma for mediators who are not trained in mental
health diagnostic procedures. Second, once PAS is suspected,
detected, or diagnosed, should mediation proceed and, if so,
under what circumstances? The education, training, and skills
of the mediator obviously come into play when dealing with
the highly deceptive and manipulative tactics of parents who
have succeeded in programming their children. Mediators need
training to understand and recognize the underlying motives
for a parent's refusal to promote accessibility between the
child and the other parent. Some motives could be an avenging
spouse who wants to punish or get even with the spouse who
left him or her; the narcissist who regards custody as a way
to prove his or her self-worth to the world after a failed
marriage; or a lonely parent who seeks to control the children
for fear of losing them, or from a need for emotional support
from the children (Warshack 1992).
When divorcing couples voluntarily participate in mediation,
there may be an assumption of their willingness to cooperate
on a settlement for everyone's best interests. It may be that
PAS families come to mediation not voluntarily but rather
as part of a court-ordered or mandatory mediation process.
Unfortunately, if one of the parents is unreasonable or uncooperative,
the mediation effort can easily be sabotaged (Turkat 1994).
There is a need for training to teach mediators how to detect
and deal with PAS families; again, there is no research to
date indicating that family mediators are trained in PAS.
A thorough literature review for this article showed no such
training procedures reported at the time of this writing,
although there are several researchers who call for training
to help all family intervenors deal effectively with brainwashing,
programming, and alienation tactics by separated parents (Cartwright
1993; Clawar and Rivlin 1991; Dunne and Hedrick 1994; Gardner
1992; Hysjulien, Wood, and Benjamin 1994; Lund 1995; Turkat
1994; Walsh and Bone 1997). In their 1994 review of methods
for child custody evaluation used in litigation and alternate
dispute resolution, Hysjulien, Wood, and Benjamin (1994, 485)
concluded that models for training competent evaluators or
for educating attorneys and the judiciary about custody evaluation
issues are lacking.
ETHICAL ISSUES FOR MEDIATORS DEALING WITH PAS
It is well documented in the literature on mediation that
many perceive a successful mediation as one that produces
an agreement (Umbreit 1995). Couple this success indicator
with a growing trend for courts to encourage joint legal custody,
and a mediator who is not aware of PAS could inadvertently
cause negative consequences by attempting an agreement for
joint custody. Joint or shared custody normally requires a
very high degree of parental cooperation. When an inflexible
parent encourages the child to have nothing to do with the
other parent, he or she may not be capable of such cooperation.
Research has shown that the best predictor that children will
adjust well to their parents' divorce is a low level of parental
conflict (Regehr 1994). Unfortunately, joint custody in cases
of parental alienation may enhance parent conflict, making
the situation worse for the children. There are varying degrees
of severity of PAS, and in severe cases the PAS dynamic may
be so toxic that a relationship with both parents may not
be possible, nor will it be in the child's best interests
(Dunne and Hedrick 1994).
Mediators and other professionals who work with the divorcing
population need to be aware of the symptoms of PAS and the
difficulties that these cases present. A failure to properly
identify and intervene in the early stages of PAS cases may
result in the aligned parent being given professional support,
thus reinforcing the child's need to maintain or expand complaints
about the rejected parent (Dunne and Hedrick 1994). Saposnek
(1998) recommends that mediators in these cases first determine
the extent of alienation, putting the child on a continuum
of (1) equal attachment, (2) affinity with one parent, (3)
alignment with one parent, and (4) alienated from one parent.
The continuum was obtained from training materials for seminars
on parental alienation developed by Joan B. Kelly (Figure
1). For children who are pathologically alienated, an intensive
therapeutic approach is necessary; without it, efforts at
mediation are likely to fail (Saposnek 1998). Gardner (1992)
suggests that professionals need to understand the therapeutic
interventions necessary to treat and alleviate symptoms of
PAS before any custody or visitation arrangement can succeed.
PAS should be assessed from the perspective of how much the
programming process is influencing the child, not on the basis
of the aligned parent's attempts to program (Gardner 1998).
Another major ethical dilemma for a neutral
mediator is how to deal with the dishonesty, deception, and
unwillingness to cooperate on the part of an aligned parent.
These parents can be very skillful at convincing the mediator
of their sincerity and create a bias that could be harmful
for the rejected parent and the child. Any agreement produced
without mental health intervention for the family may only
serve to prolong the PAS. In their study of over 700 cases
of children who were brainwashed and/or programmed by one
parent to hate the other parent, Clawar and Rivlin (1991)
conclude that most parents who brainwashed or programmed their
children extensively were "poor candidates for re-education
and counseling. They were largely 'other-blamers' and took
no responsibility for their damaging influence on their child"
Thus, mediators have several ethical dilemmas to resolve.
Although we know that mediators strive to maintain impartiality
and neutrality, many practitioners believe that it is impossible
to attain complete impartiality, neutrality, or lack of bias
when working with people (Taylor 1997). Regehr (1994) points
out that the bias of mediators appears to have a large impact
on the decisions reached by parents. Therefore, mediators
need to face some tough questions: Who do they believe--the
skillful and apparently sincere parent who has the love of
the children or the parent who has been rejected by the children
for a number of very convincing reasons? What should be done
about the obvious power imbalance favoring the aligned parent?
After all, the aligned parent has the children, they are well
bonded and close to one another, so the court may favor leaving
the children in that home when an understanding of PAS is
lacking, which is often the case.
How does the mediator build trust with a party who is intent
on deception and manipulation? Walsh and Bone (1997) warn:
"Make no mistake about it; individuals with PAS will
and do lie. They leave out . . . pertinent details or they
maneuver the facts in such a manner to create an entirely
false impression" (p. 94). A study of the characteristics
of children who refuse postdivorce visits revealed that the
custodial parents of the refusers often exhibited psychopathology
(Racusin 1994). Turkat's (1994) study on visitation interference
highlights the cooperation issue. "A parent who has continually
interfered with visitation may state . . . that he or she
will comply with the nonresidential parent's visitation request.
Immediately following the hearing, the custodial parent returns
to the visitation interference pattern, knowing that months
may go by before a return to court" (p. 741).
WHEN IS MEDIATION NOT APPROPRIATE IN CUSTODY CASES?
Mediation is an informal, but structured process in which
one or more impartial third parties assist disputants in talking
about the conflict and in negotiating a resolution to it that
addresses the needs and interests of the parties. Mediators
do not impose a settlement and participation in the process
is usually voluntary. (Umbreit 1995, 24)
By definition, mediation is a voluntary process in which no
one is compelled to participate or to reach an agreement.
A notable exception to voluntary participation is mediation
that is mandatory in many states' judicial systems. The question
is raised whether it is incongruent to require unwilling parties
to participate in a process that is designed to be cooperative,
interactive, and participatory. In a review of existing literature
on mediation, it was concluded that there is a need for empirically
sound methods for discriminating between couples who are ready
for mediation and those who are not (Hysjulien, Wood, and
Mediation should perhaps be bypassed in cases with severe
PAS symptoms. Cartwright (1993) states that whereas negotiation
is often a good solution in other forms of litigation, it
tends not to be effective in cases of PAS. He asserts that
the lack of a swift, clear, forceful judgement is often perceived
by the alienator as denoting approval of the alienating behavior.
This tends to reinforce the behavior and renders a great disservice
to both the child and the petitioning parent. . . . Courts
must not fall victim to the alienator's scheme of stalling
for time in order to continue the program of vilification.
Palmer (1988) also recognizes the duty of judges to take a
stronger stand with regard to aligned parents who try to alienate
their children from the other parent.
Issues of abuse and violence are prevalent in custody disputes.
It has been argued that mediation may not be appropriate for
couples who have experienced domestic violence because it
may place women and children at risk for ongoing intimidation
(Hysjulien, Wood, and Benjamin 1994). The mediation process
can and has allowed an abusive spouse to maintain control
and domination with the sanction of the courts (Geffner and
Pagelow 1990). A number of states now recognize the paradox
of mediating in abusive relationships, and mediation is waived
where parties allege domestic violence or child abuse (Bruch
1988 and Sun and Thomas 1987 [cited in Geffner and Pagelow
1990]). Although PAS has not been formally linked with domestic
violence or spouse abuse cases, the issues of control, domination,
and emotional abuse are present in both types of cases. PAS
and child brainwashing are forms of child abuse (Clawar and
Rivlin 1991; Gardner 1992; Herman 1990; Walsh and Bone 1997)
and, as such, could fall under the same mediation precautions
as other types of cases that exhibit violence and abuse.
One of the major strategies for protecting domestic violence
cases from the limitations of mediation is to use a premediation
screening process. Premediation screening is highly recommended
by many practitioners in the field to determine which cases
can be mediated and which cases are not suitable for mediation
(Girdner 1990; Perry 1994; Chance and Gerencser 1996; Pearson
1997; Salem and Milne 1995; Thoennes, Salem, and Pearson 1994).
Such a model could be adapted for PAS cases. Those cases that
are severe may need the attention of the court immediately
rather than delay the case waiting for a mediation process
that is not likely to resolve the issue.
A MEDIATION MODEL FOR SUSPECTED PAS FAMILIES
The question remains about whether mediation is an appropriate
form of intervention in cases of PAS. Pearson and Thoennes
(1986) contend that mediation will not transform hostile couples
into cooperative ones and will not eliminate future conflict,
but it is perceived to be a less damaging intervention than
court. Murray (1999) agrees that "children of high-conflict
divorce may benefit from the potentially harmful effects of
the adversarial approach" (p. 94). Lund (1995, 315) believes
that it is important to lower the overt conflict in PAS cases
so that the children are not drawn into the parents' conflicts.
A mediator may be successful in helping inflexible custodial
parents respond to changes in visitation schedules and other
situations that require cooperative interaction between the
Incorporating the issues raised in this
article, a mediation model designed to intervene in custody
disputes where PAS is suspected must address four areas of
concern (Figure 2). The first area is the need for mental
health expertise both to diagnose the underlying motives and
extent of alienation and to prescribe appropriate therapeutic
interventions prior to any agreement or decision on custody
and visitation. Second, the mediation process would need the
assurance that the court will take swift, clear judicial action
when necessary to discourage tactics of stalling and deception
by the aligned parent. The third component needs to balance
the power discrepancy felt particularly by the rejected parent
who has been isolated from the child's life and love. The
last and very critical element of a mediation model is a mechanism
to manage the manipulative and deceptive behavior exhibited
by the aligned parent, as well as an ongoing process to monitor
cooperation with court orders or agreed-upon steps in the
An additional critical element, which needs to precede the
actual mediation process, is the determination of which PAS
families are "ripe" for mediation. It is very possible
that in mild to moderate cases of PAS, mediation could be
effective for achieving a number of goals to help conflicted
parents. However, in severe cases, the research cited herein
indicates that negotiating with an aligned parent who exhibits
serious psychopathology would be futile. Premediation screening
could be used to determine which cases are suitable for mediation,
which is also a recommendation for mediation of domestic violence
cases advanced by a number of practitioners (Girdner 1990;
Perry 1994; Chance and Gerencser 1996; Pearson 1997; Salem
and Milne 1995; Thoennes, Salem, and Pearson 1994).
Intervention models that may be useful for PAS cases have
been developed and proposed by various researchers. Four such
models are referenced in this review, and selected elements
from these models support the major areas of concern outlined
above. The mediation models are (1) the American Association
for Mediated Divorce (AAMD) (Herman 1990), (2) the Stepwise
Mediation Process for Psychiatric Family Mediation and Evaluation
Clinic at the University of Kentucky Medical Center (Miller
and Veltkamp 1987), (3) a three-phase system of child custody
dispute resolution proposed by Gardner (1992), and (4) the
Remedial Plan described by Michael Walsh, a certified family
lawyer, mediator, and arbitrator, and J. Michael Bone, a psychotherapist
and certified family law mediator (Walsh and Bone 1997).
In the AAMD process, couples are first screened to determine
their suitability for mediation, and their motivation and
ability to negotiate with each other are assessed. Couples
that seem appropriate and are willing to enter into the process
sign a premediation agreement and begin sessions. Co-mediators
are suggested by the AAMD (Herman 1990, 48). The concept of
comediators representing each gender, and complementing one
another's expertise in mental health, legal background, and
mediation skills, fits very well with the criteria established
in this article for a useful mediation model.
NEED FOR EXPERTISE IN MENTAL HEALTH
The attachment/alienation continuum model (Figure 1) would
be an excellent tool to determine the extensiveness of the
child's alienation from the noncustodial parent. After that
determination is made, Gardner's (1992, 313) concept of mediation
could be initiated. He recommends that training programs be
set up to ensure that only qualified mediators will be used.
He envisions court-designated mental health clinics that would
provide mediation services at a fee commensurate with the
parents' financial situation. Implicit in the stepwise mediation
process is the fact that the process is conducted by professionals
trained in psychiatry at the Child Psychiatry Clinic of the
University of Kentucky Medical Center. In the stepwise model,
it is first determined if reconciliation or mediation is possible.
When mediation proves unsuccessful, there is a shift toward
(psychiatric) evaluation (Miller and Veltkamp 1987). Warshack
(1992, 221) also recommends that a professional with a background
in child psychology would be preferable to an attorney-mediator
in disputes involving children because such a mediator could
better evaluate the children's needs. Johnston and Roseby
(1997) caution that children who have witnessed family violence
may need to be treated for posttraumatic stress syndrome before
relationship rebuilding can be expected to succeed. A well-developed
premediation screening process to identify which cases require
interventions prior to mediation could reduce the need for
mediators to be highly skilled in child evaluative procedures.
NEED FOR SWIFT, CLEAR JUDICIAL ACTION
Palmer (1988) and Walsh and Bone (1997) argue that successful
intervention of PAS requires coordination by the court and
all members of the legal and mental health community. The
court-appointed psychologist initially identifies the causation
factors and determines (1) the motives of all family members,
(2) the defense functions of PAS in the family, and (3) the
specific techniques and patterns involved. When the psychological
evaluation is completed, it is forwarded to the court. At
that point, the parents can attempt to negotiate a plan. If
the conflict continues, the court must quickly intervene and
use its authority (Walsh and Bone 1997).
Gardner (1992, 315) also recognizes the need for court intervention
if mediation breaks down. Step two of his three-phase system
proposes an arbitration panel consisting of two mental health
professionals and one attorney who are empowered to subpoena
evidence and interview witnesses. The arbitration panel would
work within the court structure. Ideally, the decision of
the arbitrators would be timely and clear and have the quality
of a binding legal decision. It is certainly likely that arbitration
would result in a more expedient decision than court litigation.
Gardner's recommended process, however, could be very expensive
for either parents or taxpayers.
POWER IMBALANCE FAVORING ALIGNED PARENT
In PAS, the aligned parents seem to have power tipped in their
favor. The children profess love for them and a desire to
live with them. The court and legal and mental health professionals
may initially be swayed by the child's stated preference,
particularly if he or she is an older and articulate child.
After all, PAS is not widely recognized; there are relatively
few individuals with sufficient expertise to diagnose PAS
in the early stages. As Walsh and Bone (1997) point out, many
therapists shy away from making a PAS diagnosis for fear of
being wrong. Clawar and Rivlin (1991) agree, stating that
many professionals know it exists but are frustrated with
detecting it, objectifying it, and deciding what is best to
do for the parents and children.
In its purest form, mediation is expected to be a neutral,
impartial, and non-biased process; however, scholars and practitioners
alike recognize that the mediator will have subjectivity and
that subjectivity can influence the decision of the parents
(Regehr 1994; Taylor 1997). To compensate for a natural tendency
to favor the aligned parent, mediators must be well trained
in detection, causation, underlying motives, and common patterns
of deception that may be employed by the family members (including
the children). Gardner (1992, 322) recommends that the mediators
be trained in mental health, family law, and mediation skills.
He believes training in intensive custody evaluations is also
necessary. In addition, the natural gender difference can
be addressed by using co-mediators of each gender.
DEALING WITH MANIPULATION, DECEPTION, AND UNCOOPERATIVENESS
The co-mediation team process advocated by the AAMD would
consist of an impartial lawyer and an impartial mental health
professional meeting with the divorcing couple. The model
also uses a process to screen couples prior to mediation,
as well as the premediation agreement mentioned earlier. The
couple understand that they are working toward a three-part
agreement: (1) part one reaffirms the need for both parents
to be actively involved with their children after the divorce
and the need for mutual cooperation toward this goal, (2)
in part two, both parents agree how to share the duties of
parenting and how to cooperate when decisions are made, (3)
part three includes a foundation for agreement about financial
issues and provides for future mediation should problems arise
(Herman 1990, 48). Parties who cannot agree to this type of
openness and cooperation would be screened out to bypass the
option of mediating an agreement.
Additional provisions or ground rules could be addressed up
front that specify unacceptable behaviors such as deceptions,
fabrication, accusations, allegations, and the like. If the
court is already in possession of a psychological evaluation
that identifies PAS, the aligned parent may recognize that
he or she needs to try to negotiate rather than stall. If
the aligned parent is unwilling or incapable of cooperating,
he or she may lose custody until he or she is emotionally
fit to cooperate with the other parent. Although switching
custody may seem like an unwise decision, it is the only recourse
proven by various researchers to reverse the damaged relationship
between the child and target parent in severe cases of parental
alienation (Gardner 1992; Clawar and Rivlin 1991; Dunne and
Hedrick 1994). The court must take the swift and forceful
RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PAS MEDIATORS
Some of the implicit assumptions of this article may lead
the reader to assume that mediators are expected to be highly
directive in leading parents to a custody decision. The role
of the mediator is to honor self-determination, but it is
common for parents in protracted disputes to be emotionally
and financially drained and ready to settle for almost any
reasonable suggestion made. For this and the reasons outlined
in this article, mediating cases in which there is severe
parental alienation is usually inappropriate. Unsuccessful
mediation may prolong emotional damage to the family by delaying
the kinds of intervention and treatment necessary to alleviate
brainwashing and programming of the children. If PAS symptoms
are present in even one half of Gardner's (1992) estimate
of 80% of custody cases, all family mediators dealing with
custody cases need a thorough understanding of the challenges
prevalent in PAS families.
In their 12-year research study of 700 to 1,000 cases of programmed
and brainwashed children, which is published by the Family
Law Section of the American Bar Association, Clawar and Rivlin
(1991, 163-72) conclude that the legal system in most states
is not currently adequate to protect children from this form
of abuse. They also determined that 80% of the children wanted
the brainwashing detected and terminated, and that there was
often a substantial difference between a child's expressed
opinion and his or her real desires, needs, and behaviors.
An intervention model is needed that is appropriate to the
capacity of the aligned parent to recognize and abstain from
his or her programming tactics, which may be unconscious.
A screening process could be used to determine which families
are suitable for mediation and which cases require mental
health intervention before parties can negotiate. Co-mediators
need knowledge and skills that include mental health expertise,
an understanding of child custody evaluation techniques, familiarity
with the legal system, and communication/facilitation skills
that promote building trust and cooperation between disputing
parties. Additional skill development techniques are recommended
to help professionals (1) detect PAS and methods to objectify
it, (2) determine the extent of the psychological and emotional
damage done, and (3) determine how to develop an appropriate
With regard to the question of whether PAS cases can be mediated,
Ramona Buck, director of mediation services for the Seventh
Judicial Circuit of Maryland, advises:
Mediating cases in which parental alienation syndrome is present
is usually inappropriate. For one thing, mediating such cases
may provide a platform for the accusing parent to continue
to espouse his/her hurtful views which causes more pain to
the other parent. Secondly, since one parent is framing the
other parent as a villain, it is most unlikely that any agreement
can be reached. Thirdly, since one parent is, in a sense,
psychologically imbalanced, such a psychological problem in
one parent is usually an indicator that a case is not appropriate
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